Northern Ireland Tourist Board

How can we help?

Or browse

Visitor Experiences Grading Scheme

Marble Arch Caves

Visitor Experiences Grading Scheme

Tourism NI is committed to developing quality experiences for visitors. 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.

How the scheme works

To achieve a star rating, tourism operators choose to be subject to an annual incognito assessment from an experienced Quality Advisor who will undergo the customer journey.

Following the visit, verbal feedback will be offered to the owner, manager or appropriate staff member and a full report and score sheet will be provided in writing where the star award will be advised.

Quality Advisors undertake a rigorous training programme. Assessments are objective and draw on extensive experience of the visitor attraction and activity sector.

Who is eligible?

The Visitor Experience Quality Grading Scheme is open to tourism businesses that offer a quality visitor experience to tourists. This includes, but not exclusively, museums, castles, historic houses, tours, art venues, wildlife experiences, gardens and garden centres.

Benefits for visitor attraction operators of being quality graded

  • Access to one-to-one advice from a team of experienced Quality Advisors.
  • Provision of a written report highlighting the strengths and weaknesses and suggestions for improvements
  • Priority display on Tourism NI's consumer website
  • Reassurance to potential visitors from a recognised and official organisation

Download the full benefits leaflet here.

Case study

Belleek Pottery is currently one of three 4 Star Visitor Experiences in County Fermanagh. In this short video, Patricia McCauley, Visitor Centre Manager at Belleek Pottery, talks briefly about their experience and journey through Tourism NI’s Quality Grading Scheme for Visitor Experiences.


The annual subscription fee for operators on Tourism NI’s Visitor Experience Quality Grading Scheme is £150 (including VAT.)

To request an application please contact the office on 028 9044 1682 or email


More information