Start a tourist accommodation business

Legal and licensing help for new tourist accommodation businesses


There are a number of legal considerations for tourist accommodation providers. You must comply with all relevant legislation, in particular the Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.

Several organisations exist that can offer advice and guidance that will assist you in starting a tourist accommodation business.

Tourism NI

The Tourism NI Quality and Standards Unit can help you with mandatory tourism accommodation certification guidance and complying with relevant laws.

Invest NI Tourism Team

The Invest NI Tourism Team can advise you on the commercial aspects of your development.

Financial assistance may be available to established businesses or to help develop new accommodation businesses. 

You can contact the Invest NI Tourism Team on Tel 0800 181 4422 or email

Planning authorities

You should also speak with your local planning office at the outset of the project to find out if you will encounter any planning problems.  A clear understanding, at an early stage, of planning issues relating to your project may save you time and money.  

Your local council

The Tourism Officers of your local council will have a detailed knowledge of the tourism situation in your local area and will be able to provide information about council schemes or upcoming events, activities and initiatives planned for your area. Find your local council in Northern Ireland.

Rural projects

From time to time the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) offers support for the development of rural tourism accommodation projects. 

  • Tourism NI Industry Development
    028 9044 1673
  • Invest NI Helpline
    0800 181 4422
Developed with:
  • Tourism NI