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.

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.