Alcohol Licensing

Alcohol Licensing for Hotels, Guest Houses and Conference Centres

Licensing to sell alcohol is regulated by legislation in Northern Ireland.  There are different types of premises that can be licensed to sell alcohol to the public and there are different conditions attached to each type of premises. 

Hotels, Guest Houses and Conference Centres can be licensed for the retail sale of alcohol.  Applicants must apply to the courts for a liquor licence and demonstrate that certain conditions have been met, in particular that:

  • the licence holder is fit to hold a licence and
  • the premises are suitable for the sale of alcohol

 In addition to the above requirements Hotels, Guest Houses and Conference Centres are also required to obtain a certificate/licensing letter from Tourism NI in order to obtain a liquor licence.  Existing certified tourist accommodation premises should speak to their Tourism NI Quality & Standards Officer about obtaining a licence.  New premises must make an application to Tourism NI.

Conference Centres must meet specific requirements in order to obtain a licensing letter from Tourism NI for the purposes of securing a licence for the sale by retail of alcohol – see Alcohol Licensing for Conference Centres for more information.

More Information

For more information for Hotels, Guest Houses wanting to obtain a liquor licence please contact Tourism NI's Quality and Standards Unit:
Tel: 028 9044 1545 / 1686
  • For other premises wishing to obtain or renew a liquor licence, including restaurants and pubs, please contact your solicitor.


Alcohol Licensing for Conference Centres

In order to obtain a licensing letter from Tourism NI for the purposes of securing a licence for the sale by retail of alcohol Conference Centre operators are required to submit the following documentation to Tourism NI:
  • A letter detailing the premises to be inspected and your intention to apply for a liquor licence.
  • Fee for £500 payable to Tourism NI.
  • Copy of full Planning Approval for the Conference Centre from the relevant Divisional Planning Authority.
  • Copy of current clearance letters from the Environmental Health Department where the Conference Centre is located covering the relevant Health and Safety at Work Legislation and Food Hygiene Legislation.
  • Copy of coloured hatched Licensed Plans (to be served on Tourism NI by your solicitor together with the copy of the Notice of Application to the Court).


Once Tourism NI’s Quality and Standards Unit has received all of the above information a Quality and Standards Officer will contact you to arrange a visit to carry out an inspection.  If the Conference Centre meets the following requirements Tourism NI will issue a letter confirming that the premises meets the definition of a Conference Centre contained in Article 2 (2) of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

Inspection Requirements for Conference Centres

The following sets out the minimum requirements for Conference Centre establishments under Licensing (Requirements for Conference Centre) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997.  The premises must have a specialised conference brochure or otherwise advertise the provision of conference facilities as one of the main businesses offered by the premises.
The premises must:
  1. Have a minimum of two conference rooms, one of which must be capable of seating at least 60 persons in addition to providing adequate space for the person(s) addressing the gathering.
  2. Be capable of providing a main table meal for up to 60 delegates simultaneously.
  3. The conference rooms must be used exclusively or mainly as meeting rooms.
  4. The premises must have at least one named member of staff with designated responsibility for handling conference enquiries and arrangements.
  5. Adequate equipment for use at conferences must be available on the premises.
For more information please contact Tourism NI's Quality and Standards Unit:
Tel: 028 9044 1545 / 1686
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