TOURISM professionals toasted the North-East during the largest ever business-to-business event promoting Britain to overseas visitors.

Delegates from Germany, Austria and the Netherlands raised a glass at the Stables microbrewery at Beamish Hall Hotel, County Durham.

During a North-East tour, they also visited Durham City, Auckland Castle and Bowes Museum.

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Melanie Sensicle, chief executive of Visit County Durham, said: “We are delighted to partner with Visit Britain and the European Tour Operators Association in this initiative.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase what Durham has to offer to a network of international buyers in a cost-effective, time-efficient manner.”

Dutch delegate Ludo Sidler said: “It’s lovely to come to Durham.

“You can still feel something of the past. It’s one of the highlights of the area – history coming to life.”