Star rating is a method of grading accommodation to help customers make a choice that best suits their needs and budget.
The rating system was introduced initially for hotels by motoring organisations like the AA (Automobile Association) and RAC (Royal Automobile Association) as early as 1912.
In 2006 Common Quality Standards were developed by the motoring organisations working with the tourist boards for the different regions of the United Kingdom and Ireland. The same standards and rating categories are used throughout each region.
Hotels, guest accommodation, self-catering and serviced accommodation are given star ratings from one to five stars.
Stars can be offered by the Automobile Association and Tourism NI in Northern Ireland. There are similar schemes in the rest of the UK, European countries and America.