• Star-based rating systems are less important for consumers
  • Consumers more tech savvy and are starting to rely more on user generated reviews

Star-based rating systems may become redundant as global trends show consumers prefer to rely on user-generated reviews, says Robert Swade, Group chief development officer at the UAE’s Jumeriah Group.

Speaking at a panel discussion during the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) held in Dubai on 6 May, Swade told the audience that hoteliers must be weary that consumers are slowly becoming less reliant on what he describes as ‘often outdated star-based ratings that are not consistent worldwide. People now are more likely to book hotels based on internet reviews from friends or other customers rather than booking based on the star rating.”

Swade goes on to explain that it is vital for hotels to ensure their brand and overall experience reflects their service and not to rely of star ratings.

“There is often a disparity in quality between similar, and at times, the same hotel brands, although the star rating is the same and as such hotels must independently rely on their brand as well as online feedback they receive from visitors,” says Swade.