The national tourism body’s annual awards have honoured 16 attractions in the region, based on the score they obtained following their Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme assessment.
The attractions have been acknowledged as a result of the outstanding visitor experiences they provide – from customer service to the food on offer.
Winning venues in the West Midlands include:
- Aston Hall
- Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
- British Motor Museum
- Cadbury World
- Sarehole Mill
- The Coffin Works
- Winterbourne House & Garden
Nicola Hewitt, Commercial Director at the West Midlands Growth Company, said:
“The decision to award Attractions Accolades to more West Midlands venues than anywhere else in the UK is further proof of the region making its mark in the tourism sector. This area recorded more domestic and international visitors than ever last year – fuelled by the strength, variety and welcome of its attractions.
“With Coventry becoming the UK City of Culture in 2021 and Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022, this is the West Midlands’ time to shine. The region’s attractions have an important role to play as increasing numbers of new visitors seek interesting and exciting days out while they’re here.
“We congratulate the hard work of our tourism partners in consistently providing quality experiences for our visitors and hope that these awards and recognition encourage more people to come and explore what’s on offer across the region.”
The visitor economy in the West Midlands continues to perform strongly. The region attracted 2.3 million international visits in 2017, its fifth consecutive year of record-breaking growth and the second highest growth of all English regions.
The West Midlands also attracted 85.7 million day visits in 2017, up 4.1% compared with the previous year. The region is bucking the national trend – across England, visits declined by 3.3%.
Janine Eason, Director of Engagement at Birmingham Museums Trust, said:
“We are thrilled that four of our Birmingham Museums sites have been recognised by VisitEngland, especially in a year which has been so positive for the West Midlands region.
“Aston Hall has been recognised for the ‘Best Told Story’ for showcasing the fascinating history of the Jacobean mansion in an engaging and accessible way. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s popular Edwardian Tearooms earned the ‘Quality Food & Drink’ accolade for the fifth year running, and Sarehole Mill and Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, were recognised for the exceptional welcome that visitors receive from staff.
“This is a really exciting time for the region ahead of the Commonwealth Games and we are proud to be playing a part in attracting residents and tourists to Birmingham. Throughout 2019 we have an exciting programme of events and exhibitions which will continue to engage new and existing visitors. We’ve already had a fantastic start to the year, including welcoming thousands to our display of Leonardo da Vinci drawings from the Royal Collection which is on until 6th May.”
Tom O'Reilly, General Manager at the British Motor Museum, added:
“In order to be awarded the Welcome accolade you have to score highly in the 'staff' category that covers appearance, customer care, efficiency and knowledge. We’re delighted to have scored 97% which is testament to how we have developed our business practises to put the customer at the heart of everything we do.”
Anna Fawcett, Visitor Services Manager at Winterbourne House & Garden, said:
“Receiving this commendation has acknowledged the hard work of our team over the last 9 years to make every visitor to Winterbourne feel like they are coming home. Every day our small team strive to make the house and garden one of the city’s finest attractions, and excellent customer service is just one facet of the experience. This summer, visitors can look forward to outdoor performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, live Jazz and a Murder Mystery, alongside a programme of Print themed events and workshops.”