The Government is expected to pull its backing for the official star rating system for hotels, after deciding that customer reviews posted online are more reliable.
The move, due to announced in the Government's tourism strategy next month, is likely to prove controversial with hoteliers, many of whom have spoken out against review websites such as TripAdvisor.
The tourism strategy is expected to encourage individual businesses to make up their own minds what ratings systems they sign up with, rather than forcing them to join the official rating scheme.
The current system is considered to work against smaller hotels, which often receive just one or two stars because they cannot offer the same breadth of services as a large hotel, even if their standards of service, accommodation and food are judged very favourably.
But any Government move to back online reviews will be resisted by many hoteliers.
In December, Dragons' Den star and hotelier Duncan Bannatyne hit out at TripAdvisor after claiming the website did not allow him to respond to negative reviews. His comments were subsequently backed by a number of hoteliers.
A DCMS spokeswoman told Caterersearch.com: "The Government will shortly be publishing its tourism strategy. As part of this a number of issues are being looked at including the star ratings system for hotels."
By Daniel Thomas