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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 17th edition.

Make your suitcase instantly recognizable on the luggage belt!!
Please, dear Lord, let’s not choose for dinner-in-a-bottle!!!

Suitsuit is the newest fashion brand for globe-trotting travelers seeking original, contemporary and trendy travel accessories.

Or maybe you are looking for a way to set yourself apart from your competitors? With the elastic suitcase cover, you have no less than two square metres of promotional exposure at your disposal. Bring your brand to the attention of literally thousands of potential customers.

Suitsuit is made of robust and elastic material (polyester/lycra) and is available for trolleys (2 wheels) and spinners (4 wheels) with a height of 60 to 75 centimeters. Every suitcase cover comes in a contemporary packaging. Prices starting from 25 euro. For examples and details, go to www.suitsuit.nl

Once more the Americans do not cease to amaze us, this time they send us ‘Meat Water’... yes you read that right, water that tastes like meat, any meat really.

The sheer idea revolted us just reading about it, but hey, we are always open for new ideas although we have our serious doubts about this new fad.

Will it impress the more refined tastes buds on this side of the Atlantic…? We cannot bring ourselves to describe in detail what this is all about, but just the thought of dinner-in-a-bottle cheese burger or Hungarian goulash turns our stomach, we leave it up to you to decide.

Be courageous and surf to www.dinnerinabottle.com

 Maybe a suggestion for your Valentine’s weekend?

The Adonis Luxury Suites Hotel in Santorini, Greece, has been elected the most romantic hotel in the world 2010 by millions of users worldwide of Tripadvisor. Maybe a suggestion for your Valentine’s weekend? www.andronis-suites.com

Brussels’ newest hotspot by Martini...
in a church!
Love Bugs Parade 2010

Spirito Martini
is the name of a brand new restaurant-club by Martini situated in an Anglican Church  just off Avenue Louise.

What will impress you most? The impressive Murano Glass chandelier, the seats in snakeskin or the ‘faux’ library behind the bar with 6000 books….or the toilets with a gold flecked party floor, ‘spiritual collages and the attendant seated in the confessional?...Fun guaranteed from Thursday to Saturday as from 6.30 pm.

Valet Parking service available.

On Sunday February 14th, Autoworld Brussels organizes a parade through the Belgian Capital of about 60 ‘love bugs’ (VW cars) in honor of Valentine’s Day.

The parade will make a brief lunch stop in Ixelles at the D’Ieteren Garage where participants can visit the D’Ieteren museum where the history of this lovely car is clearly illustrated. Registered cars assemble as from 1 pm on the Esplanade in front of the Autoworld Museum.

For more information or registration for this fun event, mail to lovebugsparade@autoworld.be

Films & Travel....an excellent combination

In France & Belgium “Exploration du monde” is a concept that guarantees excellent movies by people out to explore this beautiful earth of ours and making moving, innovative and sometimes even shocking movies about their explorations.
For the moment, “2 Papous en France” travels around Belgium, another great example of somebody’s quirky view on travel and life. For full details on dates & places go to www.explorationdumonde.be

Other documentaries running at this moment: 5 continents, Paris, Indonesia, etc.
Click here for to see the program of this season.

A little piece of Heaven in Bruges
Wellness at Tour & Taxis

‘Het Hemelhuis’ or the ‘House of Heaven’ is a cozy spa & wellness in the heart of Bruges where sauna, Turkish baths, scrubs and massages are the main ingredients of a pleasant stay.

On certain days the whole place can be privatized for 2½ or 4 hours, a great idea for a group outing! A great selection of special arrangements worth investigating, go to www.hemelhuis.be

Zein, the Oriental Spa in the heart of Tour & Taxis in Brussels is the ideal place to forget about life’s stress and problems…just relax in the excellent Turkish Bath or be pampered with one of the many treatments available in this place with a definite Oriental flavor.

Massages, relaxation, just perfect wellbeing is the name of the game at Zein! www.zeinorientalspa.be

Once seen, never forgotten – Oman – Destination Report

In this edition we’ll bring you the first impressions of a seasoned traveler, Raymond De Smet, Director – Partner @dmire & President Initiative on his discovery trip of a destination worthwhile taking your time for: The Sultanate of Oman. His only complaint... not enough time to enjoy this very hospitable southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula.

Raymond was part of a small group of Belgian Incentive Buyers invited by Birgit Defoort, who represent Visit Oman in Belgium, in partnership with BBT Online. Click here to read the adventures of 7 Belgian Incentive Planners in Oman.

Looking for an original present?
Finnair offers sms upgrades

Don’t you agree that the search for an original present is not always an easy one? Stop the search and consider giving a Racing Events Circuit Contact Day.

A unique introduction to racing is awaiting you: a great day with touring cars, Porsches GT 3, Caterhams and Formula Renault awaits.

Go to www.racingeventseurope.com to read more about this very original present.

Finnair has decided to offer all business travelers who are members of their frequent flyer program Finnair Plus, the possibility to send an SMS for an upgrade to business class if they have booked an economy ticket.

24 hrs before departure they get an upgrade proposal if they have saved enough bonus points. When a traveler wants to take up the offer they only need to send a text message with letter U for upgrade, Finnair does the rest.

High Tea for Fashionistas
Who’s for dinner tonight?

Getting together to eat a bite, with a laugh and a smile and a good talk, meeting new people and why not, make some new friends. That, in a nutshell, is cook-or-eat, a unique concept that brings people together around a table under the motto, supply & demand: Those who love cooking invite and publicize a day, time, location and menu.

If you do not care for cooking, just have a look where you can go and make your reservation directly online. Bon appetit everybody!


Visit Boundary in East London!

New Trend: Boundary, a new project in Shoreditch, East London, opened in 2009. Located in a converted Victorian warehouse, Boundary includes 3 restaurants and bars, 12 guest bedrooms, 5 suites, a bakery and a food store.

The Berkeley London designer afternoon tea, Prêt-à-Portea, is inspired by the themes and colours of the fashion world. The menu is transformed every six months to follow the changing seasons in fashion. Inspired by the Autumn/Winter 2009/2010 fashion collections, this season's afternoon tea at The Berkeley in London includes designs by Christian Dior, Burberry, Christian Lacroix , Louis Vuitton, and Mulberry. Prêt-à-Portea is served daily from 1pm to 6pm.

....and Tea for Two, Men only!

The Mandeville Hotel has introduced an Afternoon Tea for Men which offers not only the traditional tea’s but also a special selection of champagnes & whiskies geared toward a more masculine clientele. www.mandeville.co.uk

In Brussels the Barsey hotel at Av. Louise has recently opened a tea salon – www.barsey.be

The Ladies only 2010 Hummer Raid Morocco - Desert Driving Experience

Discover the South of Morocco in 4, 5 or 6 days …lots of sand, various breathtaking and impressive landscapes in one and the same day…. Each team is composed of 2 or 4 people and starts with 3 minutes interval. It’s not a race, it’s not about speed, it is all about emotions and discovering the local culture.

Comm’Plete organizes this year The Ladies only 2010 Hummer Raid Morocco, a “self drive” raid from 22 to 27 April 2010. Every vehicle is manned by a pilot and a co-pilot, daily journeys of 200 to 350 km along narrow rocky tracks through the dusty Sahara. You don’t need to be a top class athlete, but you should be aware that the race is a serious challenge!

Even completely inexperienced “off-roaders” can participate in the raid without any difficulty provided that they have an unconditional sense of responsibility.
www.hummer-desert-driving.com - annebel.verschueren@commplete.be

NBTA starts European division
FutureWatch analyzes shift in meetings & events industry

The National Business Travel Association (NBTA), the largest business travel porfessionals organisation in the world, has launched a European Chapter under the name NBTA Europe. Many national organizations such as the Dutch NATM have already decided to join.

NBTA Europe wants to prove its worth by uniting European professionals via congresses and seminars where common problems in the world of business travels will be looked at and solutions proposed. Furtermore NBTA Europe will be active in research and education. First assembly: Virtual Forum on 30th March in London, New York, Paris and Frankfurt. More information via www.nbtaeurope.org.

Tips for a sustainable event

Sustainability is definitely the name of the game these days, any organizer worth his money will definitely take it in account when preparing for an event. The Dutch NBTC office shares 9 tips for your information, click here for more details.

In the eighth edition of its annual research, Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and American Express have released FutureWatch 2010 to highlight trends and competitive factors shaping the future of the global meeting and events industry.

Evaluating the global perspective of both planners and suppliers alike, some of the key trends identified include:

° Meetings located closer to home, fewer participants will travel long distances to get onsite.

° Performance that organizations receive from the meetings they host will continue to be a major focus for planners.

° Corporate social responsibility (CSR) will be a continuing interest for meetings and events professionals’ organizations, and a potential differentiator for companies and associations that can demonstrate a strong, sustainable commitment to effective CSR programs.

A copy of the FutureWatch 2010 Executive Summary is available at no cost at

Badhu, oriental splendor in Utrecht, Holland

A hotel / restaurant inspired by the Arabian Hammam where each of the 8 rooms has its own feel and color scheme. The rooms are equipped with a luxury bathroom, internet connection, telephone, flat screen tv, Nespresso coffee machine and a minibar.

Restaurant / hotel Badhu is housed in a former bathhouse this beautiful building is situated in one of the nicest spots of Utrecht. Badhu serves Arabian dishes and drinks. Flavours from various Arabic countries including Morocco, Algaria, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. Badhu serves diner such as Mezze (small dishes) and Tajines, but also breakfast, lunch, Chai (high tea), Lebanese and Moroccan wines, Moroccan beers, a variety of Arabian cocktails and much more.

The restaurant and the hotel overlooks a nice green park. Besides, it is very close to the centre of Utrecht. www.badhu.nl

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 Anne-Marie De Vos. Since 1993, Anne-Marie works for Groupe Norbert Dentressangle, formerly Christian Salvesen PLC, a leading European logistics services provider. She is based in Zellik where she works as PR Co-ordinator and PA to the Managing Director.

A major part of her job consists of organising meetings and events and this takes her to many places with a high X-factor and gives her the opportunity to meet interesting people. Anne-Marie considers it a challenge to achieve successful results within an ever more restricted budget environment. Click here to discover her selection.

Surf to our archive and get more tips from other BBT Online readers. Click here.

 It shouldn’t take a disaster to help people

More than often it takes a disaster to focus the (western) world’s attention on long-existing human problems. Like in Haiti. And then all kinds of charity initiatives (that are meant well!) spring up.
However, it should not take disasters to make us do something to help people that are deprived of the basic needs. Everyone having some basic common sense, knows that it is inhumane not to do anything in a structural way.
Also our own sector is to blame. We spend our holidays (and money) happily to the Dominican Republic without wondering how the neighbouring Haitians try to survive in ‘normal’ times. It has become more than time to reflect on our moral duty to help people who we, in order to get more prosperous ourselves, put in the awkward position that they are in now...

Karin de Graauw – Editor BBT Online


Affordable Art Fair Brussels 2nd edition is getting closer and closer. From the 5th to the 8th of February 2010, it is the open and affordable contemporary art event that you must not miss. Thanks to its large range of styles and supports, you will be able to discover and buy the perfect work of art, whatever your budget is – www.affordableartfair.be
ECOPOP is the event for bio and green innovation and will take place in Kortrijk Xpo, February 6 & 7, 2010 - a must for all ‘green conscious’ entrepreneurs!
The Benelux Event Awards (BEA) moves to West-Vlaanderen en will be handed out on April 1 & 2 - www.bea-awards.be
Every Tuesday, from 5 to 8 pm, The Chrystal Lounge in Brussels invites you to enjoy the Crystal After Work effect: meet up with your friends, business associates or clients for a relaxing after work experience at the cocktail bar - www.crystallounge.be
On Friday February 5th, KHMechelen organizes a workshop on “Role & Impact of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, ..) and user generated content in Tourism” at Brussels Expo during the Salon des Vacances. For details and registration mail marc.declercq@khm.be
A divine workshop. On Valentine’s Day the ‘Oestercompagnie’ explains & teaches the technique of opening oysters of all sorts. Wines also play an important role in this workshop. More info on click here.

A new, free weekly cultural agenda and alternative city guide: Le Cool! lecool.com (Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, London, Istanbul, Dublin, Moscow and Budapst)
Charity sale with a difference: Kidonaki is an original concept in Brussels: the organizers have gathered over 1.000 new or used objects to be put up for auction, all proceeds will go to recognized charities - www.kidonaki.be
Editions Pire have just published a new book on ‘Chambre d’hôtes en Provence’ full of good ideas!
Travel Managers look at 2010 with a more positive eye and hope for gradual recovery of the business travel market segment.
Cruise selection now also covers river cruises not only in Europe but also in more exotic destinations.
Go to www.rivercruise.be for more information.
An original way to bring people together: The Conference bike is a circular bike for 7 people - www.conferencebike.com

Hotel rates in Europe have dropped on average 10% versus previous year. Paris is still leader with an average of Euro 134. For more info and a full review, go to www.trivago.nl
In December 2009, EFQM organized, for the fourth time, a tree planting day in the Foret de Soignes near Brussels. They teamed up with the Courtyard by Marriott Brussels Hotel who rounded up 75 volunteers, set their standards high and planted 1250 trees!
Las Perlas, hotels in Andalusia carefully, handpicked selected for you, because why settle for boring when you can have amazing! www.lasperlasandalucia.com
Adagio Hotels choose Brussels, the Monnaie Centre as the location for its first Belgian Hotel. It opened its 140 apartments in December 2009. www.adagio-city.com
Nyhuset Serviced apartments is a new development of 4 luxury studios and a penthouse in the heart of Brussels. For more info, contact Hans Moerenhout on hans@touchbasebrussels.com
Welcome to ‘Chateaux et Residences Gastronomiques’, an association of 16 country estates and chateaux in Holland and Belgium. www.chateaux.nl
Wanna detox your mind? Go to the detox hotel in Paris a mind altering experience! – www.paris-hotel-plessis.com
Hidden behind a door in Venice marked only by a bull’s head is a magical world of mirrors, glass sculptures, rare books and vintage objects - Philippe Starck’s first Italian hotel, and Design Hotels member, Palazzina Grassi www.designhotels.com/palazzinagrassi
Yellow pages never looked so good, out now: The Design Hotels Book, Edition 2010! Available to buy at www.designhotels.com/shop
Bartenders-on-the-road invite you to visit their website to see for yourself what they can offer you! www.bartenders-on-the-road.com
The newest trendiest eatery in Bangkok: Long Table. On the 25th floor of the Column Residence – www.longtablebangkok.com
The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Brussels organizes a Sri Lanka Food Festival from Thursday February 18th until February 25th included.

As from today Brussels Airlines offers a perfect flight schedule to Nigeria (Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt) and Equatorial Guinea (Malabo) thanks to an extended partnership with Lufthansa.
Are you a member, or have you thought of joining, well now you can read the best stories in The mile high club, Cleis Press, Euro 10,50.
The European Commission declares the black list initiative for unsafe airlines a great success.

Linda van Pottelberghe enjoyed a short interlude after leaving Accor and has now surfaced again in a position tailor-made for her: Sales Manager MICE for Martin’s Hotels. She can be reached on lvp@martinshotels.com
Koen Kesteloot has joined the SNCM team. He can be reached on resa.benelux@sncm.fr - www.sncm.bizz
Gisele Jamin, responsible for business tourism promotion at Atout France in Brussels, leaves her function after 15 years to join Rail 1 on April 1st. Her position is available as from March 1st, interested candidates can contact michel.peyre@franceguide.com or gisele.jamin@franceguide.com
MSC Cruises Belux announces the arrival of Mr Erminio Eschena, new Country Manager for MSC Cruises Belgium & Luxembourg, he replaces Gualtiero Togneri.
Robin Lokerman, CEO of the MCI Group’s Institutional Division, has recently become chairman of The Center for Association Leadership Board of Directors. Together with ASAE (American Society for Association Executives), The Center for Association Leadership provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association community.

Pascale Godijns, Managing Partner at MAX sprl, sends us the following message:
“Thanks Karin for this new edition of your Take 5 newsletter. It is one of the very rare moments that when it hits my mailbox, I drop what I am doing and I immediately start reading the edition. Great content, concise style, everything we need to keep us updated. Looking out for the next one already!! Congratulations.”

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.

Karin de Graauw – Editor BBT Online
Rue Van Eyckstraat 29 – 1050 Brussels – Belgium