Visitor Experience Grading Scheme
The Quality Grading Scheme for Visitor Experiences offers tourism operators a chance to be awarded with a one to five star rating to indicate the level of quality a visitor can experience when visiting their attraction or activity. Participating in the scheme assists operators to maintain and continually improve the quality of their offering. The star award is an independent mark of quality and tourism businesses displaying a Tourism NI quality star rating have been officially quality assessed by Tourism NI.
How the scheme works
To achieve a star rating, tourism operators choose to be subject to an annual incognito assessment from an experienced Quality Advisor who will undergo the customer journey.
Following the visit, verbal feedback will be offered to the owner, manager or appropriate staff member and a full report and score sheet will be provided in writing where the star award will be advised.
Quality Advisors undertake a rigorous training programme. Assessments are objective and draw on extensive experience of the visitor attraction and activity sector.
Who is eligible?
The Visitor Experience Quality Grading Scheme is open to tourism businesses that offer a quality visitor experience to tourists. This includes, but not exclusively, museums, castles, historic houses, tours, art venues, wildlife experiences, gardens and garden centres.
Benefits for visitor attraction operators of being quality graded
- Access to one-to-one advice from a team of experienced Quality Advisors.
- Provision of a written report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses and suggestions for improvements
- Priority display on Tourism NI's consumer website www.discovernorthernireland.com
- Reassurance to potential visitors from a recognised and official organisation
About the assessment
Incognito visits are carried out every year and are undertaken by one Quality Advisor. However, in the event that Tourism NI in its absolute discretion deems it necessary, assessments (whether incognito or not) may be carried out by more than one person.
The Quality Advisor will visit the Experience without prior notice to sample an authentic customer journey. While at the Experience, verbal feedback will be offered to the owner, manager or other appropriate staff member. Following the visit a full written report will be prepared and the award will be advised in writing.
There are six key areas of assessment. These include Pre-Arrival and Arrival, which are assessed for all Experiences, followed by Attraction/Presentation and a further three areas: Catering, Retail and Toilets which are included in the assessment if they form part of the visitor experience. Where an Experience does not include these facilities, they are not included in the calculation of the award and have no impact on the result. The assessment of the visitor experience specific to each Experience is tailored to reflect the nature of the designator.
Quality Advisors undertake a rigorous training programme. Assessments are objective and draw on extensive experience of the visitor attraction sector.
The annual subscription fee for operators on Tourism NI’s Visitor Experience Quality Grading Scheme is £150 (including VAT.)
To request an application please contact the office on 028 9044 1682 or email email@example.com
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