Technology and training help accommodation provider get ready to re-open after lockdown

“Necessity is the mother of invention”, or so the old saying goes. It’s certainly been true for Sarah Heyworth in her business’ post-lockdown recovery.

Sarah is co-owner of Graig Wen, a multi-type accommodation site near Dolgellau, which offers B&B, cottages and yurts to visitors.

During lockdown Sarah was very grateful to receive grant funding from Gwynedd Council and training from Superfast Business Wales – and some glamping training from Sarah Riley – so that when Wales was ready to open to visitors again, everything would be ready to go. She also managed to squeeze in a stint on the National Park’s Ambassador Scheme, volunteering to pick up litter on Cader Idris.

Now the time has come to start welcoming visitors again, in the safest way possible – so Sarah has invested in technology which will enable her to do just that.

Sarah has signed up with a company called Touchstay to create virtual guidebooks, divided into sections which Sarah populates with any information necessary for following Covid guidelines and for helping guests have an enjoyable holiday at Graig Wen.

Each type of accommodation at Graig Wen has a slightly different version of the guidebook, which guests are encouraged to install on their phone in a similar way to an app. 

The guidebooks include information ranging from what to expect from the weather to how to connect to the on-site Wi-Fi, alongside a history of the company and a thorough guide to the Covid restrictions in place at the site. The guides also provide useful details about the local area – such as places to walk, eat and shop – and even allows guests to pre-book their breakfast.

“It’s so useful,” says Sarah, “it’s like having an extra member of staff! It took a lot of late nights during the first lockdown to get the guides up and running ready for re-opening, but now I can easily update them to adapt to changes on the ground, and quickly let guests know of changes here, or new places to eat.

“One of the best things about it has been being able to share some of our favourite local walks and places to visit, which are perhaps a bit more off the beaten track. And it’s also worked to encourage repeat visits, as guests saw how much there was to do around here locally last year, and have booked to come back again and explore more.”

To view Graig Wen’s website, please visit