2019 Mini Cooper Factory – Video
MINI Plant Oxford has received a top visitor attraction award from the official national tourism agency for England.
The plant, which builds more than 1,000 MINIs each day, has been recognised by VisitEngland with a ‘Best Told Story Accolade’ for its factory tour, which gives visitors a behind the scenes look at how this iconic British car is made.
Introduced by VisitEngland in 2014, the accolades are available to attractions that are part of the Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme and are allocated through a scoring system based on an annual unannounced assessment. They recognise attractions that ‘go the extra mile to provide a high quality day out.’
With a dedicated team of tour guides, MINI Plant Oxford welcomed well over 21,000 visitors from all over the world last year to see how a new car is built here every 67 seconds. The VisitEngland accolade builds on the TripAdvisor ‘Certificate of Excellence’ awarded to the team in September.
Frank Bachmann, Managing Director of MINI Plant Oxford, said: “We’re privileged to welcome so many people to get a closer look at how MINIs are made and our tour guides and staff pride themselves on making those experiences special. Huge congratulations to everyone on the plant tours team – this award is testament to all of their hard work and dedication.”
Andra Pirvu, Project Manager for MINI Plant Oxford tours, said: “Achieving a Visit England accolade is something that everyone on the team is extremely proud of. Telling the story of the plant is central to what we do and so to be recognised in the ‘Best Told Story’ category is fantastic news.”
MINI Plant tour guide and former plant worker, Terry Stringer, said: “As someone who worked here for so long it’s been fascinating to see how the plant has changed and developed to become such a global success story. We now have many thousands of people from all around the world coming to see us and we try to give them the best experience we possibly can. I guess this award is a recognition of everyone’s work over the past year.”
MINI Plant Oxford is a member of VisitEngland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme, which represents a wide range of tourism experiences across England, from museums and galleries, farm attractions, historic houses and gardens to churches, cathedrals and country parks.
In November the plant’s tour was recognised with a VisitEngland ‘Quality Rose Marque’ – a sign that the MINI Plant Oxford tour has been independently assessed and meets the high standards that visitors expect.
VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said of the accolades: “These attractions offer a warm welcome, unique storytelling, high quality food and drink and unparalleled customer service and rightly deserve these accolades. They provide visitors with amazing experiences and create reasons to travel the length and breadth of the country, increasing the economic benefits of tourism.”
Tours of MINI Plant Oxford run Monday to Friday and last just over two hours. There is a maximum of 15 people per group and the minimum age is 10 years old.