Tourist accommodation certification

Tourist accommodation categories that need certification


There are eight categories of tourist accommodation in Northern Ireland. These are:

  • hotels
  • guesthouses
  • bed and breakfast establishments
  • guest accommodation
  • hostels
  • self-catering establishments
  • bunk houses/camping barns
  • campus accommodation

Tourism laws set out minimum requirements for each of the categories, such as number of bedrooms, bathrooms, facilities, amenities or services provided. You must fulfil the minimum criteria to be allocated to one of the categories.

A statutory inspection, carried out by Tourism NI, will determine whether your premises meet the criteria laid down for your category.

New ventures need to be certified and inspected by Tourism NI before they are allowed to trade legally. See get your tourist accommodation certified. Find out more about the certification process.

Existing businesses will have to be inspected at least once every four years, to ensure they still meet the minimum standards. See inspections of certified tourist accommodation.

Changing tourist accommodation categories

If you already run a tourist accommodation business, but wish to change your premises to a different category, you will need to apply to Tourism NI. Your premises will be re-inspected. If you meet the required minimum standard for the new category, a new certificate will be issued. If you are an existing tourism accommodation provider, you can apply to change accommodation category online [registration required].