Travel companies from across the country spent two days visiting Wiltshire this week in a bid by VisitWiltshire to increase tourism.

The group, made up of 48 visitors from tour operators and coach companies, spent the first day visiting Castle Combe, Longleat, Bradford on Avon and Bowood House and Hotel.

The second day was spent visiting Stonehenge, Old Sarum, Sarum College, Salisbury Cathedral and Marlborough.

David Andrews, chief executive of VisitWiltshire, said: “This event is a fantastic opportunity to show off the vast tourism offering in the county, putting Wiltshire firmly on the map.”

Julie Roberts, of Johnsons Quality Coach Travel in Warwickshire, said: “We go to quite a few of these to get a snapshot of different areas.

“It is a chance to see the suitability for customers.”

Hilary Christmas, of Norman Allen Group Travel in Herefordshire, operates tours all over the world and said: “If we can be familiar with what there is to do, it will help us no end and allow us to advertise correctly.”

Denise Hanson, of Hanson Travel in West Yorkshire, said: “Wiltshire is a wonderful, stunning place. I have not been before but I have no doubt we will put it on our programme.

“I was surprised to see the amount of independent shops in Marlborough, which is very rare where we come from. It is such an attractive place with lovely buildings and the Merchant’s House was amazing.”

Peter Wragg, chairman of VisitWiltshire, said: “Tourism in Wiltshire is worth £1bn per annum and employs 21,000.”