Cumbria has the highest rated hotels and B&Bs throughout the UK, according to online review site TripAdvisor.
The counties with the next highest number of positive ratings are Cornwall, Northumberland, Devon and Somerset.
The regional scores are highlighted in an analysis of TripAdvisor review ratings on UK properties since 2004. Results show that, whereas eight years ago UK hotels and B&Bs lagged behind the average rating on properties compared with the rest of the world, today they are above the global average and score higher than some major markets such as the USA, France, Spain and Germany.
Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business, said the increase in the number of reviews has benefited both travellers and the hospitality industry.
"Hotel and B&B owners have, it appears, clearly been listening to the free feedback they have received, and used it to improve the service they provide," she explained.
An increase in average scores for customer service and cleanliness have been the key drivers behind the UK hospitality industry's revival, according to TripAdvisor, while smaller B&Bs are now outperforming their larger hotel rivals on average, proving that great service is not simply the reserve of the luxury hotel chains.
Pierre Williams, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, commented: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, so it is great to see British B&Bs holding their own against the large hotel chains. It just goes to show how much people appreciate the personal touch, and how you don't need vast resources and a huge marketing budget to provide great service."
By Janet Harmer
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