Guide

Start a tourist accommodation business

Categories of accommodation business

Under the Tourism (NI) Order 1992, there are eight categories of accommodation. Each of these types of accommodation must be certified by Tourism NI. These are listed below with a brief description of the services/amenities required:

  • Hotel - a hotel is an establishment with a minimum of 15 double bedrooms (all of which must be en suite) that is capable of providing breakfast, lunch, and an evening meal for guests.
  • Guesthouse - a guesthouse is an establishment with a minimum of three double bedrooms (all of which must be en suite), and is capable of providing both breakfast and an evening meal.
  • Bed and breakfast (B&B) - a B&B offers overnight accommodation whilst also providing guests with a cooked breakfast. There is no requirement to provide an evening meal and only one guest bedroom is required.
  • Hostel - a hostel provides overnight budget accommodation for guests in shared rooms or dormitories. A hostel should have shared or en suite bathroom facilities, as well as a common kitchen and lounge area.
  • Self-catering - a self-catering unit is a self-contained apartment, house, cottage, etc which provides furnished accommodation for visitors including sleeping accommodation and catering facilities.
  • Bunk house/Camping barn - a bunk house or camping barn offers simple overnight shelter, often in remote locations with limited facilities and services.
  • Campus accommodation - campus accommodation is provided by educational establishments for their students and made available to individuals, families or groups at certain times of the year, typically Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.
  • Guest accommodation - guest accommodation is primarily focused on the provision of en suite bedrooms, for example, restaurants and pubs who wish to provide accommodation for visitors.

Tourism NI offers start up guides for each of these categories. If you are an existing tourist accommodation provider and you wish to change your category, eg from a B&B to a guesthouse, you can apply online