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Jobs axed in 90pc of hotels

More than 90pc of hoteliers have been forced to axe staff over the past year and a half, new figures have revealed.

Almost three quarters of hotel and guesthouse owners warned of further job cuts as they struggle to cover costs in the face of falling revenues.

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) survey also found nine out of ten members were concerned about the viability of their businesses this year, with a quarter reporting a drop in trade of more than 25pc.

The federation's president, Matthew Ryan, said the country's tourism industry -- including 903 hotels and 307 guesthouses -- had untapped potential to help drive nationwide economic recovery.

"A more holistic approach to tourism that builds compelling offerings around visitors and their experiences while visiting Ireland is needed," he added.

That's what friends are for

Employees could be more productive if they worked alongside friends, new research has suggested.

A study found that people worked harder when they were sitting or standing next to friends who were more industrious than they were.

"Getting people to work with their friends could be one way to motivate workers without necessarily paying them more," said one researcher from the London School of Economics.

However, a slow-working friend could cancel out the good influence, according to the study.

Scorsese film stays on top

Shutter Island is still the top destination for US audiences.

The psychological thriller, reuniting director Martin Scorsese with star Leonardo DiCaprio, held the top spot at the box office for a second weekend with $22.2m (€16.2m), raising its 10-day total to $75.1m (€55.1m).

The film will be released in Ireland on March 12.