The star rating system looks set for a shake-up with the launch of an industry-wide survey to assess the success of the Common Standards in the UK hotel market.
Over 13,000 businesses will give their views on the importance and relevance of the assessment criteria and the role of user-generated content in today's digital era.
The survey is part of a wider review of the standards which James Berresford, VisitEngland chief executive, said would also look at how VisitEngland can work more closely with different types of media to provide a complete picture for consumers.
Standards criteria currently need to be met to achieve different levels of star ratings, such as bathroom facilities, telephone and internet access, 24 hour room service and type of breakfast offered. All of these will be reviewed.
Other key areas of the review include the previously controversial terminology used by accommodation providers such as ‘guest accommodation', ‘small hotel' and ‘B&B'; and accessibility and environmental sustainability.
Following the industry survey, consumer research will take place in the autumn, which will identify the most important considerations for consumers when booking their accommodation, and how these have changed since the standards were introduced in 2005.
A key feature of the consumer survey will be booking processes and information resources, in light of an increasing popularity and reliance on internet technology.
By Janie Stamford
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