Categories: Plan Your Trip

All about our star grading and welcome schemes 

In Northern Ireland, looking after everyone as well as possible is just in our nature. That’s why we want do everything we can to help you prepare for your visit here, ensuring it’s as enjoyable, comfortable, inspirational and memorable as can be. 

One way we do that is by working with our accommodation and experience providers to give you as much information as we can about where you might want to stay. There is where our official accommodation grading schemes, star ratings and welcome schemes come in.  

We know they make it easier for you because you get a good idea of the services and facilities you can expect, and it works for us because everyone here knows what they’re expected to deliver to meet your expectations. 

About our Grading Scheme 

Accommodation providers and Experience providers can choose to be members of Tourism Northern Ireland's Grading Scheme.  

We use a five-level star grading system to indicate the standard of customer care and the quality of the experience at participating establishments. 

The awards focus on a range of key areas.  In Accommodation, it includes the welcome and hospitality, the standard of cleanliness, the quality of bedrooms, bathrooms and public areas; and where applicable, food. For Visitor Experiences it focuses on the level of customer service, the arrival process, the customer journey and the quality of facilities on offer.   

The number of stars awarded to a property indicates the standard visitors can expect of the property: 

1 star: clean and tidy, a fair and acceptable standard 


2 stars: a good overall standard 


3 stars: a very good standard 


4 stars: an excellent standard 


5 stars: an exceptional standard 

About our Welcome Schemes 

We welcome visitors from all walks of life and with all sorts of activities and interests that they want to enjoy and explore while they’re here in Northern Ireland. 

Our Welcome Schemes for Accommodation businesses are designed to recognise the special efforts made by operators and helps direct visitors to accommodation that can meet their various needs. 

An operator displaying a Welcome Scheme logo has been independently assessed for suitability during their quality grading assessment. 

What you can expect 

Anglers Welcome Scheme 

Members of the Anglers Welcome Scheme will provide features such as facilities for the drying and storage of fishing clothing, storage boxes for rods; facility for bait or catch and facilities for preparing catch. Equally important is the local knowledge of where to fish. 

Bikers Welcome Scheme 

Safe parking available, provision of cleaning materials and a supply of recommended tours and viewpoints. 

Cyclists Welcome Scheme 

A supply of maps and local cycling routes, a lockable shed for bike storage, information on local transport services, contact details of nearest cycle specialist and a suitable facility for the drying and storage of clothing. 

Dogs Welcome Scheme 

Details of local dog walks, pet shops and vets, the provision of a food and water bowl, suitable food preparation area, towels available for use on pets and storage space for animal transportation crates. 

Families Welcome Scheme 

A storage area for pushchairs, availability of high chairs and cots, local activity and eateries provided along with contact details for local doctors all allow parents peace of mind while on holiday. 

Film Crew Welcome Scheme 

Offer flexible arrival times, confidentiality is respected and arrangements are made for company billing. 

Golfers Welcome Scheme 

A suitable facility for the drying and storage of outdoor clothing, lockable storage for golf clubs, a daily weather forecast, details of tee-off times and local sports/golf shops. 

Groups Welcome Scheme 

Provision of ample parking facilities, express check in and flexible menus for groups. 

Mountain Bikers Welcome Scheme 

Provision of local mountain bike information, lockable covered shed for bike storage and close proximity to mountain bike trails. 

Walkers Welcome Scheme 

A suitable facility for the drying and storage of outdoor clothing, provision of ordnance survey maps and local public transport information, early breakfast options and a packed lunch on request.