Opening Bell: Hoteliers' insurance woes, Bewley's fairtrade pledge, Nokia 3310 returns

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Irish hoteliers are struggling to deal with rising insurance costs of €730 a room.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) holds its annual conference in Kilkenny today, which will hear cases of insurance premiums hitting €150,000 for four-star hotels due to insurance "shake-downs" carried out by guests.

The federation estimates that insurance costs the industry €42 million annually.

IHF president Joe Dolan said that 71% of hoteliers have cited insurance costs as having a negative impact on their businesses.


Coffee brewers Bewley's say they aim to switch to 100% fairly-traded coffee by the end of 2017.

The company is one of several retailers promoting Fairtrade Fortnight, which starts today.

Sales of fairtrade produce across Ireland increased by 9% last year.

Peter Gaynor, head of Fairtrade Ireland, said:

"It's good news that it's growing but it's not growing quick enough. All of us could do a lot more in terms of our purchasing habits.

"I think we need to make the effort to go and to look for the products, to ask for the products when they're not available, and to ask the retailers why they don't take more responsibility themselves for making this thing happen to a greater extent so that more people in developing countries can benefit from better terms of trade."


Bus Eireann's board will aim to fix its financial woes when it meets today.

Management have already warned they need to cut costs by up to €30 million to remain on the road.

The Irish Times suggests the board may focus on roster changes, efficiencies and work practice reforms.

However, unions say they will go on an all-out strike if their payroll is affected.


Nokia unveiled its new 3310 phone at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The upgrade on the classic model will cost just €49 and boasts a battery life of up to one month.

Chief executive Rajeev Suri said:

"The love for the brand is immense. It gets a lot of affection from millions and millions of people."

Nokia also launched four smartphones at the annual trade fair, costing between €139 and €299.