Case study: Hotel industry keeping ahead in Gwynedd

Hotel (generic)
Image caption Around a fifth of the workforce in Gwynedd and Conwy work in hotels, restaurants and hospitality

Keeping ahead of the competition and offering something different is the way to succeed according to two business in Dolgellau, Gwynedd.

Ffynnon boutique hotel owners Steve Holt and Debra Harries researched the area before starting in business five years ago.

Ms Harries said their hard work paid off as they found no-one else was offering the same kind of "luxury" accommodation, and the business got a five star rating from day one.

The business employs five people, two full-time and three part-time.

"We still do ongoing research, asking visitors how we can improve on what we do here," she said.

"Service is important, maybe more so that the surroundings, and we have staff training and always take up suggestions of what people want, so that it's available the next time."

Geraint Roberts runs the Gwernan hotel in Dolgellau.

He has invested heavily in a fishing lake that came with the property, upgrading the access to include a path for the less able-bodied, along with new jetties.

'Take the pressure off'

"It's a competitive world, and it's not enough just to offer somewhere to stay," he said.

The business employs six part-time staff in the summer, which goes down to week-end help over the winter, and despite the economic downturn the business had a "better than expected" summer.

High quality jobs within the sector is not the norm however, especially in more rural areas.

"We would like to employ more to take the pressure off myself and my wife, but that isn't possible.

"I was born in Aberdaron and whilst I was growing up there tourism was the mainstay of the local economy, as it is here. It has been important for years," he added.