The QA Guide to Tourist signing in Northern Ireland

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             The Guide to Tourist signing in Northern Ireland

             Tourist Signing - What it is and how it works
             Taking care of visitors to Northern Ireland includes making it easy for them to get around and
             to see the things they want to see. Good consistent signing of attractions and facilities helps
             our visitors find exactly what they’re looking for and is a significant part of their holiday

             Increases in tourist numbers and the resulting growth in use of attractions and facilities make
             it more important than ever that we get this aspect of visitor servicing right. The policy outlined
             in this leaflet has been agreed between Roads Service and the Northern Ireland Tourist
             Board (NITB).

             Before any premises can be considered for signing as a tourist attraction or tourist facility,
             they must be designated as such by NITB. There is no automatic entitlement to tourist
             signing: safety, amenity and traffic management considerations are all factors that have to be
             taken into consideration.

             Q. What is a tourist attraction?
             A location or premises that a tourist would wish to see or visit on its own merits. Examples:
             visitor centre, historic building, museum, zoo, nature reserve, viewpoint.

             Q. What about places like restaurants, banks and chemist shops?
             These are primarily used by domestic customers and are not appropriate for white-on-brown
             tourist signs. However, information about restaurants, etc. can be displayed on tourist
             information panels in the local area.

             Q. What is a tourist facility?
             A service used primarily by tourists. Examples: hotel, guesthouse, B&B, hostel, self-catering
             accommodation with on-site management, tourist information centre.

             Q. To be considered eligible for signing, what level of provision does an attraction or
             facility need?
             The tourist attraction or tourist facility should have:
              Adequate parking on site or close by
              Adequate toilets on site (where appropriate)
              Adequate publicity material

             It must be:
              Of good quality
              Well maintained
              Accessible for disabled visitors
              Open continuously from 1 March to 31 October each year.

             Q. How is visitor accommodation signed?
             All tourist accommodation must be certified by NITB. The bed symbol must appear on all
             visitor accommodation signs and applications for signing of accommodation in both urban and
             rural areas are welcomed. With the exception of hotels, the names of individual
             accommodation providers are not permitted in urban areas.

             Self-catering accommodation that has a management presence on the site may also be
             eligible for signing. Caravan and camping parks may also qualify.

NITB, St Anne's Court, 59 North Street, BELFAST, BT1 1NB | Tel +44 (0)28 9023 1221 | Fax +44 (0)28 9024 0960 | Textphone +44 (0)28 9044 1522

             Q. From how far away can an attraction or facility be signed?
             Where signing is approved, the extent and number of signs will be the minimum needed to
             give clear guidance. Generally speaking, only attractions/facilities located away from the main
             A and B class road network, and therefore more difficult to find, are eligible for signing. Tourist
             information centres are exempt in this respect and are eligible for signing on main roads from
             the outskirts of the urban area.

             Where an attraction draws more than 20,000 visitors per year, signing may be extended to
             the nearest primary route up to a maximum of 20 miles. If an attraction draws over 75,000
             visitors per year and is located within 20 miles of a motorway junction, it may be eligible for
             signing from the motorway.

             Visitor numbers will be monitored to ensure that attractions for which signs have been erected
             remain eligible.

             Where existing direction signing gives clear guidance, say to a castle with the same name as
             a town (Carrickfergus for example), tourist signs are not normally necessary until the general
             area is reached.

             In town centres it is not always possible to park at tourist attractions and visitors may be
             directed to public car parks, with onward pedestrian signs.

             Q. What information can go on a sign?
             Generally the name of the attraction or facility can go onto a sign, plus a generic symbol if
             appropriate (e.g. the bed symbol). In terms of road safety, the shorter the legend the better.
             Where the name of the attraction or facility is long, it may have to be shortened. Branding,
             company logos or motifs are not permitted.

             Q. What is the procedure for getting signs?
             Local Councils will co-ordinate signing applications for their areas and will forward to Roads
             Service those that have been designated by NITB as eligible for a signing. While Roads
             Service is responsible for the design, site and extent of signing, all applications for signing
             should be made to the local Council in which the attraction or facility is situated.

             Applicants are advised to complete the application form attached and contact their local
             Council as early as possible to allow time to complete the process so that new signs can be in
             place for the following tourist season. Requests for inclusion on information panels at tourist
             information points should also be made to the local Council as early as possible.

             Fill in the application form attached to this leaflet and return immediately to the local Council
             Office where your attraction/accommodation is located.

             Q. How many signs are needed and what do they cost?
             Remember that the purpose of tourist signing is to provide direction for the travelling public
             and not to advertise the premises in question. Signs must lead motorists safely from the first
             sign to the attraction or facility. Where this is off the beaten track, more signs may be needed
             than for a facility near a main road. Signs need to be larger on roads where traffic speeds are

             The total cost of signs must be paid in advance by the applicant. This includes the cost of sign
             design, fabrication, erection and an administration charge. Depending on the number and size
             of signs needed, costs could range from below £100 for a small sign in an urban area to more
             than £1,000 for extensive signing to premises in a rural area.

NITB, St Anne's Court, 59 North Street, BELFAST, BT1 1NB | Tel +44 (0)28 9023 1221 | Fax +44 (0)28 9024 0960 | Textphone +44 (0)28 9044 1522

             A copy of the policy document “Tourist Signing” is available for reference at local Council

             Council Contacts
             Local Council contact details:
             Antrim Borough Council                                                (028) 9446 3113
             Ards Borough Council                                                  (028) 9182 4000
             Armagh City and District Council                                      (028) 3752 9600
             Ballymena Borough Council                                             (028) 2566 0300
             Ballymoney Borough Council                                            (028) 2766 2280
             Banbridge District Council                                            (028) 4066 0600
             Belfast City Council                                                  (028) 9032 0202
             Carrickfergus Borough Council                                         (028) 9335 8000
             Castlereagh Borough Council                                           (028) 9049 4500
             Coleraine Borough Council                                             (028) 7034 7034
             Cookstown District Council                                            (028) 8676 2205
             Craigavon Borough Council                                             (028) 3831 2400
             Derry City Council                                                    (028) 7136 5151
             Down District Council                                                 (028) 4461 0800
             Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council                              (028) 8772 5311
             Fermanagh District Council                                            (028) 6632 5050
             Larne Borough Council                                                 (028) 2827 2313
             Limavady Borough Council                                              (028) 7772 2226
             Lisburn City Council                                                  (028) 9250 9250
             Magherafelt District Council                                          (028) 7939 7979
             Moyle District Council                                                (028) 2076 2225
             Newry & Mourne District Council                                       (028) 3031 3031
             Newtownabbey Borough Council                                          (028) 9034 0000
             North Down Borough Council                                            (028) 9127 0371
             Omagh District Council                                                (028) 8224 5321
             Strabane District Council                                             (028) 7138 2204

NITB, St Anne's Court, 59 North Street, BELFAST, BT1 1NB | Tel +44 (0)28 9023 1221 | Fax +44 (0)28 9024 0960 | Textphone +44 (0)28 9044 1522

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