VisitEngland is to survey the industry on its Common Standards star-rating system as part of a wider review that could see user-generated reviews taken into account.

A survey of more than 13,000 assessed accommodation providers has been sent out, focusing on the relevance of the criteria used to assess accommodation in the digital world.

The industry survey will be followed up by consumer research planned for the autumn to gauge the factors important to consumers when booking accommodation, and how they have changed in recent years.

The role of user-generated content and other independent reviews is to be a key part of the review process as the organisation seeks to remain relevant.

Booking processes and sources of research will be a key focus of the consumer research, reflecting the increasing importance of the internet.

The Common Standards initiative was unveiled more than four years ago amid industry concerns over variations in accommodation standards. It brought together accommodation rating schemes from the AA, VisitScotland, VisitWales and VisitEngland.

The survey will also seek industry feedback on the facility criteria currently used to rate accommodation, as well as the terminology used by accommodation providers to describe their businesses.

Accessibility and environmental sustainability will also be taken into account.

This story first appeared on