The abolition of the Hotel Star Rating system in Britain, Britain's department for culture, media and sport abolish the hotel star rating system, minister for culture scraps Britian's hotel star rating system, the end of the hotel star rating system for Britain,
In January 2011 Britain's Department for Culture, Media and Sport decided to abolish the long standing Star Rating System for hotels, and to use instead, online hotel customer review sites, citing Tripadvisor, as the company most preferred by the British public to check out hotel information.
This decision has made little impact on the U.K's large established hotels and chain groups, but is of great concern to the owners of little known, small and new hotels, already struggling to survive in todays over saturated industry and volatile economy.
The star rating system was perhaps little understood by many, but it's advantages certainly outweighed it's criticisms, being as it was, the seal of excellence with which many hoteliers were able to classify their business to prospective customers.
The star rating system was used to indicate the amount of services offered by an individual hotel and not to inform potential customers in what way the services were provided.
This distinction is one of the things that the DCMS is saying that the public prefer, by way of online reviews, over and above the information obtained by way of the star rating system.
However, there are two problems the hospitality industry in Britain have with this new system.
The DCMS is now encouraging hoteliers to classify their own businesses, leading to grave concerns that this system will be open to abuse by fueling a hapless disreguard to the running of and the services provided by, certain unscrupulous hotel owners.
Let's face it, no business is going to down - grade it's self.
The second concern is the online reviews themselves.
However well meaning the writers of these online reviews are, there is no getting away from the fact, that these individuals are neither qualified nor experienced enough to be able to determine the running of a hotel - especially as there are many behind the scenes aspects of running a hotel the customer knows little or nothing about - or inform the general masses as to whether a hotel's services are good, bad or indifferent.
Everyone's needs, expectations and opinions are different, what one man deems as excellent service, is deemed to be low grade by another.
Most of the people that write these reviews use the services of a hotel just once or twice a year, or put another way, maybe thirty hotels in a lifetime.
This does not qualify someone to be adept enough to write a fair and just assessment about the quality of someones business or livelihood.
Take in to account also, the amount of moaning Minnies who will criticise just about anything, just because they can,individuals writing reviews who have never even stayed at the hotels in question ( oh yes this happens ), people being paid to write good reviews for bad hotels and vice versa and warring hotel owners using these sites to discredit their competition, this leads to a frightening prospect for many of the U.K's smaller and lesser known hotel owners.
Five Star is synonomous with a high standard of excellence and Britain's hotels are reknowned, the world over, for delivering these standards.
The smaller business needs this standard of excellence with which to base their own businesses on, and it needs to be assertained by way of a professional body* which is competent and qualified to do so, and not by way of possibly unfair or indiscriminate reviews written by the general masses.
We all have bad days, and no - ones business should have to suffer because a customer stayed at a particular establishment for one or two nights, when the hotel had been let down by a supplier or the chamber maid was off sick.
So, to Britain's Honourable Minister of Culture,I say this -
Please re - consider your decision to abolish our Star Rating System, the industry needs it's awards of excellence and the customer deserves better in way of hotel information.
It is quite unconceivable to think that a country like Great Britain should have no hotel ranking system, something which in the opinion of many, can only do harm to both it's hotels and tourism in general.
* Hotels are classified by way of local tourism bodies, whose qualified repesentatives make unannounced visits, by way of an overnight stay, and then classify the hotel before issuing it's owner with a star rating.