Updated common standards and criteria for hotels and self-catering accommodation in the UK have been agreed between domestic tourist boards and the AA.

The revised guidelines aim to ensure that an official star rated property will mean consistent standards wherever the accommodation business in the UK.

The revised quality schemes follow customer and industry feedback and focus on the “quality of experiences” with less emphasis on the provision of facilities.

The changes enable businesses to be more flexible in the facilities they provide, allowing them to tailor their property to the type of guest they attract, highlighting its features.

The new standards replace those established by the national tourist boards – VisitEngland, Tourism Northern Ireland, Visit Scotland and Visit Wales – and the AA across the UK in 2006 and updated six years ago.

The introduction the new criteria for accommodation providers within the schemes began in April.

VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes said: “We know that people value quality and guaranteeing that a star rating in Inverness or Swansea brings with it the same benefits as one in Cornwall or Belfast will encourage visitors to further explore the accommodation on offer.

“These refreshed common standards ensure that the wonderful range of quality accommodation across our nations and regions continues to meet the high expectations of visitors.”

AA Hotel & Hospitality Services managing director Simon Numphud added: “We have seen a growing diversity of accommodation combined by increasing customer expectations.

“It was important that the quality standards were fully updated to reflect the changing landscape of both the quality of accommodation and the customer experience.”