In normal circumstances, a certificate will be posted to you within a few weeks. Sometimes a follow-up inspection is required, usually after 30 days, where there are facilities yet to be provided. There may be a need for the inspector to return for this final check, but there is no charge for this.
After the inspection
After the Inspection
External advertising signage, either in the grounds of your facility or in any other public space, may require planning permission. Tourism NI recommends that you discuss any proposed external advertising signage with the planning team at your local council prior to installation. Do not claim to be ‘Tourism NI Recommended’ or ‘Approved’; you may indicate that you have a Tourism NI Certificate, if you wish.
Tourist Signage (White on Brown)
If you are interested in obtaining ‘White on Brown’ tourist signage, you should contact your local council Tourism Officer who can provide you with an application form. Local councils coordinate the application process for white on brown tourist signs which involves liaising with Tourism NI and Transport NI.
You can also download a signage application form and a copy of the joint Transport NI – Tourism NI Tourist Signing Policy here.
Providers are encouraged to direct guests to online review sites or Social Media platforms to post a review of their experience. Customer reviews can highlight positive experiences, verified tips and useful observations. Generating positive feedback may influence potential customers when researching or booking accommodation.
The establishment should be under the supervision of a person trained or experienced in Bunk House or similar accommodation management and that person doesn’t have to be resident in the establishment. However, in the absence of a management presence, the manager’s contact details should be provided, alongside emergency contact information.
Successful marketing is important for every business and your accommodation business is no different. You could have the most desirable property in your area, but without marketing, no one will know about it. It is important that the cost of marketing your business is considered early in the planning stage. It is unlikely that the cost of marketing your business will be a one-off payment, so consider marketing as a running business cost and build this into your business plan. Once certified, your property will be given the option to appear on our consumer website discovernorthernireland.com at no additional cost. A short narrative about the property including facilities, nearby attractions, amenities, location and website address as well as up to 9 images can be uploaded at www.tourismni.com.
Whilst this website provides a great platform for going online, we recommend that you do not solely rely on this to drive business, but rather use it as part of your overall marketing plan. Tourism NI also has a large following across a variety of social media platforms. If you have interesting or engaging content you would like to share about your business, you can send your stories to email@example.com for consideration. Similarly, if you have a special offer, you will be able to submit your accommodation offers for placement on www.discovernorthernireland.com
Tourism NI, in its promotion of sensible, sensitive and sustainable tourism, encourages ‘good housekeeping’ schemes such as recycling, energy conservation and waste minimisation. For further information on addressing environmental impacts, download Tourism NI’s ‘Going Green’ Guide.
Aim for Excellence
Tourism NI encourages all operators to aim for excellence. By providing enhanced facilities, amenities and additional services, you are more likely to obtain a higher letting rate, be more assured of higher occupancy for longer periods and be more likely to generate profits. These need not involve great capital outlay but can add considerably to your product. Here are a few ideas:
- Bike hire/storage
- Guided tour of the locality
- Central games room, books and board games, etc.
- Internet facilities
Guests will be encouraged to stay longer if you have something special to offer. Read the promotional literature from Bunk House establishments elsewhere for cost-effective ideas which can be adapted for your establishment whatever its size. You should also look at the existing establishments in your intended area of operation, the facilities they offer and the rates charged.
- Online Certification
- Quality Grading Scheme
- Industry Insights
- Signage Policy
- Alcohol Licensing
- Discover Northern Ireland
- World Host Customer Service Training (for information about customer service training programmes which assist the industry in providing first class standards of service)
- Divisional Planning Office
- HM Revenue & Customs (for implications of starting a business and VAT considerations)
- Music License Information for Public Areas (for details on how to obtain a music license when playing music in a public area) www.ppluk.com and www.prsformusic.com
- Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service
- Health and Safety Advice for Small Businesses (to help manage health and safety in the workplace and relevant legislation)
- Northern Ireland Environment Agency (for information regarding the registration of private water supplies to holiday accommodation)
- The Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 (copies of all regulations can be obtained from The Stationary Office, Arthur Street, Belfast)
Contact details for further information
For more information/application forms for certification contact the Quality and Standards Department:
You can also email this department at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at our offices at:
Tourism Northern Ireland, Floors 10-12 Linum Chambers, Bedford Square, Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7ES.
Tourist Accommodation Quality Grading Scheme Application
If you are interested in becoming Quality Graded, you can apply now online.Apply Now