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Appearing in your inbox every other week, TAKE5 gives you an update on the latest Meetings, Incentives and Business Travel related news. It contains short and to the point information on venues, people, happenings, lifestyle and general news that cannot wait to be told! BBT Online guarantees you 15 new ideas in just 3 minutes. Enjoy our 16th edition.

The travel trends for 2010!
How to calculate your carbon footprint

A recent study done by IHG Hotel group comes up with a number of interesting trends in travel.
Bleisure’ the businessman prolonging his stay for a couple of days on leisure, is on the increase just as ‘luxury snacking’, short pampered breaks are there to stay! Social networks are a great source of information, breakfast remains an important meal and ‘staycations’, vacationing in one’s own country are definitely on the increase.

For a full listing of the latest travel trends, click here

Talk is not enough but action is needed in order to make things happen. This applies also to environmental care. Action means decisions and choices, and those cannot be made without information and facts.

That is why Ecompter focuses on producing reliable and meaningful tools for computing and reporting the concrete carbon footprint information within the hospitality industry. Those who care, measure. www.ecompter.com

There is always room for one more
How to really use LinkedIn

Believe it or not, this is an everyday scene in het Tokyo underground. Professional 'pushers' master the art of squeezing in an enormous amount of biomass in style: with white gloves.

Trains run more or less on time, and the passengers needn't worry about petty crime: nobody, pickpockets included, can move an inch. Claustrophobics please abstain.

Click here and watch this horror.

'How to really use LinkedIn' by author Jan Vermeiren shows the reader why LinkedIn is such a powerful tool for everybody to use. Not only that, it also presents a short and effective step-by-step plan to get immediate results without spending much time on LinkedIn.

It contains advanced strategies for finding new customers, a new job, employees, suppliers, experts and people to help you get your job done faster.

New Superspa in Amsterdam
Cheerleaders for hire!!

You'll find Zuiver – Dutch for 'pure' – at the heart of the Amsterdam Forest. As soon as you walk through the door, you'll immediately feel a special sense of tranquillity and spaciousness. And that's precisely the idea. Zuiver is a breath of fresh air. A modern and exclusive spa with an abundance of space (13,000 m²).

The Zuiver Hotel also offers 31 luxurious rooms and suites. www.spazuiver.nl

Djalita Dancers, based in Amsterdam, are a group of professional cheerleaders who can be hired for performances in Holland and Belgium.

And if you ever had the ambition to wield those pompoms, why not join them for a workshop, definitely a unique experience. Djalita Dancers can be that original touch that makes your event just that little bit different from the usual.

BBT Online readers share their top favorite restaurants, hotels, destinations, personalities, and so much more with you ...

Today's BBT Online reader sharing her favorites with you is Barbara Nowak. Since 1989 Barbara works for Nutricia, now member of the Danone Group and is based in Strombeek-Bever where she is PA to the Managing Director.

Organizing company travel, events and meetings is a major part of her job, a job she really enjoys because of its diversity, the enthusiastic people she meets and the many new places she discovers all the time. Click here to see Barbara's selection.

Landmark Congress for EFAPCO

A record-breaking 180 delegates, from 17 countries, took part in EFAPCO’s 4th Congress (7 – 9th of January 2010) held at the new state-of-the-art Square Brussels Meeting Centre.

Themed on Sustainability and Competitiveness in the Meetings Industry, it proved to be a landmark event in many ways.

Two days of action-packed plenary and parallel sessions featured experts from all manner of fields analysing the impact of new social media on the meetings industry, the implementation of sustainable solutions and creating new opportunities out of the current global economic challenges, to answering the expectations of PCOs and the upcoming Generation Y, plus understanding the impact of new VAT regulations on the congress industry.
Click here to read more.

Bruges’ newest hotel: Hotel Casselbergh
Negotiating with hotels by ICCA
ICCA recently produced a non-comprehensive list of items you might consider including in your negotiations for a waiver or price reduction.

Classics such as free rooms per number of rooms booked, free registration desk etc.. take place of pride next to more detailed ones such as free use of flagpoles for convention banners or free storage facilities for advance deliveries.
For a full listing, click here.

Europcar launches EuropcarClub

Europcar launched EuropcarClub, a rental service that offers an alternative to owning a car in town. Members not only save money but also help the environment.

First launched in November 09 in Great Britain, followed in December 09 by Portugal and Belgium. This month will see Germany, Italy and Spain join the scheme. This, together with France brings the total number to 7 countries where members find a rental service that caters to today’s economic crisis climate. www.europcar.be

The Grand Hotel Casselbergh's**** rich history is combined with modern luxury. The location, at the heart of the historical centre of Bruges with its wonderful mediaeval buildings and idyllic canals, make the hotel special.

This hotel has been created out of three historical residences known as ‘Casselbergh’, ‘Zeven Torens’, and ‘t Fransch Schildt’. These buildings were owned and lived in throughout many centuries by leading citizens and the local aristocracy. To the rear, a new wing has been added with quality architecture that is perfectly integrated with the surrounding buildings.

Grand Hotel Casselbergh will have 118 elegant rooms. They combine modern luxury with the authentic charm of 18th-century Bruges. The hotel also proposes various meeting rooms, 40 parking places, and a superbly appointed wellness centre in the 16th-century cellars. This romantic hotel is certainly a welcome addition to the city of Bruges.

The opening will be in February 2010.


Egliseum: the divine location
The highest lounge, meeting- & event location in Limburg

The "Egliseum" is the previous Carmelites Church in Ypres, Belgium which was given a new destination in 2009 as a cultural center. A fascinating piece of heritage and architecture, the church was built in 1922 on the ruins of the original church of 1676.

It integrates all modern technology without problems, the computer directed floor heating and the silent air conditioning guarantee a constant and comfortable temperature. The central room with two exhibition facilities and a great lounge bar are ‘divine’ and ensure the comfort and success of your events.


The Radisson Blu Hotel, Hasselt opened the highest lounge, meeting- & event location in Limburg. Spread over the three top levels of the hotel, it offers 5 fully equipped meeting- & function rooms, 1 VIP Boardroom, 2 foyers and the “Hasselt Skylounge”: a wine & champagne bar with terrace on the highest level.

This is a unique event location with panoramic windows offering a fantastic view over the city and area. The first floor of the Radisson Blu hotel, Hasselt offers 4 fully equipped meeting & event rooms spread over 327 m² with natural daylight.


XXL, Only in Kortrijk!

During the renovation works of Kortrijk XPO, the meeting facilities are not forgotten. Actually the very successful Meeting Centre gets a brand new room called XXL…. Bigger and even better! This ‘giant’ of no less than 2,040 m² has been specially designed with conventions, corporate parties, product launches and large events in mind.

Daylight or total darkness, a telescopic tiered seating module, booths for simultaneous translation, everything has been provided to make the organizer’s day! XXL Comfort for sure!


The 5 Rooms in Barcelona
A new concept!
Radisson Blu’s new property in Milan

The 5 Rooms is an urban oasis located in the centre of Barcelona and designed for those who appreciate the value of the unique.

Guests can choose from 3 different types of accommodation: rooms, junior suits and apartments, service is totally personalized, an original bias for the discovery of Barcelona guaranteed!


The Radisson Blu Hotel, Milan – 250 rooms - is located north of the city centre, within minutes of Milan’s two trade fairs. Besides a restaurant and a trendy lounge bar the hotel also offers nearly 800 m2 of meeting and conference space.

After a hectic day guests can relax in the stylish spa and at the indoor swimming pool.


As always: we selected 1 B&B for you! Dharma in Courtrai
Carbon & Eburon, Different Design Hotels in Limburg, Belgium
B&B Dharma is located in a beautiful historical street in the center of Courtrai, Belgium. The main square with its cozy terraces and charming stores are close by, the train station is only a 10-minute walk away.

The house has an atmosphere of quiet luxury, all 3 rooms are equipped with television and internet access. The personalized welcome, the attention to details, the copious breakfast that can be taken outside on the terrace in summertime, the newspaper of choice in the morning make Dharma a little piece of heaven.

2 other B&B we like to recommend: A B&B operated by Belgians in Marrakech, a little marvel! www.tchaikana.com and La Paresse in Sy, near Spa – www.laparesse.be

Annecy –France: new lodging concept

Un Lieu unique’ is a new lodging concept in Annecy, half way between a luxury boutique hotel suite and the private touch of a luxury bed-and-breakfast room.

The idea is to offer the possibility of staying in a select and personalized flat right in the very center of the old historical town of Annecy, providing the feeling and style of home privacy and discretion. Le Lodge, Le Dolce, Le Cocon are the first in a series of flats available in this lovely old town.


Genk was at the heart of the coalmining district and today it is a thriving city in the heart of the province where the Carbon Hotel offers the perfect place to stay not only for its central location, but for its original trendy décor, its friendly & warm welcome and its fabulous Spa.

The Carbon Genk's 60 rooms are open and spacious, and each comes equipped with iPod, television, DVD player and mini-bar.


Tongres is one of the oldest cities of Belgium famous for its Gallo-Roman Museum and now…for the Eburon Hotel.

Located in an old monastery that was a staging post for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostella in the middle ages, the Eburon surprises with its elegance and design interior, the 52 rooms are airy and comfortable, a special mention is in order for the outstanding quality of the beds and bed linens! The old cloister garden is a haven of peace in this tranquil town.


The only star is you

Null Stern Hotel (literal zero-star hotel) is the new Swiss concept that downgrades hotel services to the bare minimum. Guests are accommodated in a nuclear bunker from the Cold War in Teufen (Switzerland), converted into an ‘eco-luxury’ hotel.

For 7 euro a night, 25 guests in this no-frill facility get a bed and hot water bottle. There is no heating, and (limited) hot water or breakfast come at an extra cost. The concept was created by 2 artists, Frank and Patrik Riklin. They wish to spread the concept worldwide.
Click here for more info.


Exactly 1 year ago Karel Ooms, former BECIB (Belgium Convention Bureau) and Toerisme Vlaanderen (in the Netherlands and in China), set up his own consultancy in Bruges. During that first year he was actively working in Dubai, Romania, the Balkan countries, in Chili and in South Africa and, of course, in Belgium.

Specialised in strategic tourism development for regions, destination management/marketing for destinations, product innovation in tourism for companies and feeling at home in the world of meetings/incentives, Karel is still looking for new challenges in Belgium and abroad. He also can be contacted for conducting training and educational programs in his fields of expertise.

He can be reached at strategies4tourism@gmail.com or on his mobile 0032/475/905040.


Copious free whisky tasting at the 7h edition of the International Malt Whisky Festival at ICC Ghent February 5-6-7, 2010 - www.whiskyfestival.be
The Belgian Boat Show will take place for the 22nd time at Flanders Expo Gent February 6 – 14 2010 - www.belgianboatshow.be
On March 6th do not miss the Museum Night Fever in Brussels including the Red Bull Afterparty! www.museumnightfever.be

As from March Antwerp can boast a new venue: the former Royal Palace on the Meir. Reception rooms, restaurant & tea room, Belgian chocolate shop …a whole new look for this grand house!
Heineken- The City – an original venue for events in the heart of Amsterdam, a must for beer lovers! lwww.heinekenthecity.nl
The Eco-Travel handbook not only answers all questions around green travel, it also gives a great listing of green hotels and fun eco-friendly travel gadgets! Price: € 25.95, published by Thames Hudson.
The cities of Pécs in Hungary, Istanbul, Turkey and Essen in Germany are the cultural centers of Europe in 2010.
A website for conference interpreters and the conference industry – 2.885 Interpreters at your service in any language - www.aiic.net
Eliza was here’ a Dutch travel agency specializing in travel far from the beaten path has now opened an office in Belgium - www.elizawashere.be
D&D Reizen, Focus Reizen and Omnitravel have joined forces and are now known under the name: Squatra - www.squatra.be
Helicoptere.be offers various original ideas for helicopter flights. They can take off almost anywhere and will give your guests a breath-taking experience - www.helicoptere.be
This website reviews European event venues. By event planners, for event planners – www.reviewevents.com

Containers with a tented roof, gold & silver furniture, lounge atmosphere and original food, that’s Obba in the Rotterdam harbour..interesting! www.obba.nu
Looking for a hip industrial chic dining and entertainment venue in Beijing?
Go to http://www.elite-concepts.com/Promotions/1949/TheHiddenCity.htm
Closer to home, The Mansion, a Hampton style villa in Brasschaat is a great event location for up to 500 guests - www.themansion.be
Join the cooking hype and visit ‘Atmytable’, a new and original cooking studio in Ghent, ideal for cooking sessions for groups up to 25-30 participants. Meeting facilities available - www.atmytable.be
The Boscolo Exedra in Nice, France is the newest luxury hotel of the capital of the French Riviera. 5-star luxury on the main street in an historical building..a dream! http://www.boscolohotels.com/eng/hotels/exedra_nice/luxury-hotel-nice.htm
Dorint Spa offers 3 nights for the price of 2 until April 18th of this year!! reservations@dorintspa.be
France is totally reconsidering the hotel qualification system. They are introducing a new 5-star category.
As of February 1, 2010 the 4* Sandton Brussels Centre hotel will open its door in the immediate vicinity of Brussels Central Station. It offers 70 guestrooms, several meeting rooms and underground private parking - www.sandton.eu/en/brusselscentre

As from June 2010 SWISS will fly 6 times per week to San Francisco via Zürich.
Emirates will launch flights to Amsterdam on 1st May.
8 out of 10 airports would like to see the self-service machines become the most used way of checking in.
Brussels Airlines and the Spanish airline Spanair, both member of Star Alliance, start a cooperation. From today onwards, Brussels Airlines customers can fly to numerous popular cities in Spain via Barcelona or Madrid: Alicante, Ibiza, La Corun or Tenerife.

Willem van der Zee has been appointed Regional Director Rezidor Benelux and France. He will move to the Radisson Blu EU Hotel, where, in addition to his role as General Manager, he will manage the region. He will be replaced in the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel by Nicolas Meylan.
Sven Boelhouwer joined the Dutch-based company No Desk, created by Flip Nelissen in 2007. The company focuses on destination marketing, market communication and project management in the MICE sector. The flexible ‘pug-and-play’ concept appeals to many institutional and commercial organizers - www.nodesk.nl
Anette Wezenberg left the global sales team of Kuoni Destination Management due to to a restructuring. Anette can be reached on ah.wezenberg@planet.nl
Fabienne Coppey, founder of EMIF, left EasyFairs and took up a new challenge at the beginning of this year: the organization of a B2C fair together with VO Event, a Belgian event and communication agency. fcoppey@vo-event.be
After 11 intense years as Director of the Turisme de Catalunya - Benelux representation Ana Escarpenter work’s relation will come to an end on January 31st 2010. You can contact Ana on ana@escarpenter.com or ana.escarpenter@gmail.com

‘I thoroughly enjoyed reading the latest Take 5. Just great how you get all the information together. One only has to read Take 5 to be totally up–to-date with the happenings in the industry’.
Dries Jacobus, SITE President Belgium

Laughing is good for you! In every take5 edition we publish a small funny video clip from YouTube. Get you regular dose of ‘fun vitamins’ by clicking here. This edition an overview of the best clips of 2009.

Karin de Graauw – Editor BBT Online
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