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Star Ratings Australia to bite the dust from June

February 28, 2017 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

Star Ratings Australia has confirmed that it will cease operations from 30 June 2017, having fallen victim to the digital age and its instant online reviews.

The ratings scheme, owned by the Australian Motoring Clubs, including NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT, has operated since the 1950s. Star Ratings has a distinguished history as Australia’s only independent, accredited accommodation scheme.

Australian Motoring Services chief executive, Michael Reed, said the Australian Auto Clubs were proud of having provided members with “a valuable and respected scheme that has enabled them to book their holiday or business accommodation with confidence”.

“At the height of Star Ratings Australia’s success there were 15,000 Star Rated properties across Australia,” Reed said.

“Being star rated meant that consumers would always know what to expect from the accommodation they booked. We were always true to our message – the accommodation you expect should be the accommodation you get.”

Reed explained: “In a digital world, where consumers can provide online reviews, and with more accommodation providers choosing to self-rate, the Star Ratings scheme has found its independent review model increasingly unsustainable.”

Star Ratings were awarded to six distinct accommodation categories: Hotels, Motels, Serviced Apartments, Hosted Accommodation, Caravan-Holiday Parks and Self Catering properties.

The ‘star’ symbols were a licensed trademark and could be used only by properties that had been licensed to use them by Australian Motoring Services – a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian Auto Clubs.

Star Ratings Australia prided itself on being a consumer safeguard against self-ratings – properties who assessed their own quality standards.

That safeguard has now gone, giving self-promoters in the accommodation industry free rein. An appropriate Latin phrase is caveat emptor – “let the buyer beware.”

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark J says:

    Not Surprising to see the star ratings system failing and I believe similar this side of the Tasman … Not only the On Line reviews but also one problem is in the star rating inspection process itself.
    Between one inspection and another, the ‘inspectors’ for the star rating program kept moving the goal posts, one year to the next. Where one inspector one year put emphasis on one area, the next year another inspector would put the emphasis on another area and deduct points accordingly. Very hard to keep up with the play where you dont know where the goal posts are. Review wise, definitely the digital age has a made a difference over last ten years … when we first started in the industry, we would periodically get a large number of the postal review cards via the AA … that dwindled markedly as Trip Advisor and the OTA’s introduced their ‘everyone’ can be a critic program.. While by far the majority of guests are excellent it would be good to have a rate the guest channel available as well … amazing how some times people will not say anything while staying if they deem something is not right yet are prepared to hide behind the anonymity of an online review system to complain … and due to the anonymity its often hard to tell if their complaint is genuine in a particular unit.

  2. Ian B says:

    I concur completely with Mark J.
    The demise of the star rating system is as much driven by the (previous) organisation and their constant moving of the goal posts, inconsistency of inspectors, lack of adaption to what has been happening in the industry, and of course the TripAdvisors of this world.
    Our last ‘star rating’ was 10 years ago, and opting out had zero impact on our business way back then.
    I also agree with Mark that the ‘review’ system and anonymity is not without its challenges, but it certainly drives traffic/business to us…
    R.I.P AAA

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