Visit Britain on future of Star Ratings

24 January 2011

In response to recent media coverage on the future of the star ratings scheme James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, commented:

“We are committed to ensuring visitors experience the best quality on offer in this country.  As long as the national Quality Assessment Scheme remains beneficial to the industry, VisitEngland will continue to support it and ensure that it evolves to meet the needs of the industry and consumers.

The VisitEngland Quality Assessment scheme currently has 24,000 members and is one of the most reputable and robust accommodation schemes in the world.  The scheme adheres to The Common Standards which brought together accommodation schemes from the AA as well as the other national tourist boards in Britain in 2005.  Recent research show, 76 per cent of us make use of star ratings when choosing accommodation.  From research undertaken with the industry we know that 3 in 4 claim membership to the scheme helps improve business. 

Customer expectations and industry practices do change and we are currently looking at modernising the scheme to address this. As such and in line with the Tourism Minister’s aspirations, we are to review schemes ensuring they are independent of Government funding and that they are fit for purpose for the 21st Century consumer.  The use of social media and user generated content will be key to this process.  It’s clear from our research that the consumer of today is web savvy and uses a number of methods to aid purchasing decisions.

I believe there is a place for the star rated scheme as it offers consumers the endorsement of the national tourist board.  This is as valuable a benchmark as reviews from consumers online and can be used in tandem to make a decision that is right for the consumer.”

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