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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 21st edition.

In bed with Christel Cabanier
Etiquette, a must or just boring?

Christel Cabanier is the General Manager of Hotel BLOOM! but also  member of the Jury for the famous VTM program ‘Mijn Restaurant’ and thus Christel is a BV (Bekende Vlaming). Fans of Christel get the opportunity to get to know her better and spend an evening with her by playing a game; The participants have to go on the website www.christelcabanier.be.

The lucky winners (3 per month during the month of April and May) will spend the evening in a room at Hotel BLOOM! together with Christel and watch the latest Mijn Restaurant edition. So visit www.christelcabanier.be  and you might become the lucky winner.

Well behaved people in business have more chance of closing deals and getting ahead than people without manners,: that’s a fact! Too much can be just that, too much, but a good knowledge of the basic etiquette rules can make a difference and unfortunately too many business people are sometimes not even aware of the fact that they are making important “faux pas” when dealing with clients or superiors.

At ‘Eetiquette’ attention is given to basic good manners, first impressions and public skills that can make the difference in your career! Why not try them out: www.eetiquette.nl
Destination Report: Unusual Bhutan!

Anja De Haen, Head of MICE BeLux at the BCD Travel Groups Department, went – well prepared – on a trip to a new incentive destination for her: Bhutan. As she describes it, a happy few representatives of Incentive Houses made a trip they will not easily forget and Anja definitely ‘promised’ – not threatened!- to be back and hopefully with clients!

Read a most interesting travel report with loads of good addresses! Click here.

Design hotel in Courtrai
Hotel Verhaegen, luxury B&B in Ghent

The d-hotel, in Kortrijk ,Belgium offers luxury accommodation in an unconventional setting, blending an historic windmill and a farm. This hip hotel – 44 guest rooms -features all the world-class facilities and services to seduce both business travelers and tourists searching for an exclusive getaway in West Flanders.

For spectacular corporate events or private receptions, the d-hotel also boasts two multifunctional spaces. And for guests willing to indulge in deluxe Spa treatments, relaxing massages, or yoga lessons, a 600 m² Wellness Center is also available on the hotel premises. www.d-hotel.be

Hotel Verhaegen is a well preserved XVIII ° century town house located just off the Graslei in the very heart of bubbling Ghent.
Its high ceilinged rooms with plush carpets and a comfortable sitting area decorated by the owners who are interior designers offers all commodities to spend a comfortable stay.

Breakfast in the room or the cozy restaurant or weather permitting in the elegant garden. A great way to start the day!


Mystic Place – Bangkok

Mystic Place Rooms in Bangkok is a new boutique concept that integrates artistic expression and comfortable living together as one - creating a colorful, fun, chic and unforgettable experience for everyone. Each room reflects and has been inspired by the designing artist's individualistic creativity and soul.

This friendly boutique is a perfect hotspot for guests who love Art and Fantasy, and desire a different out-of-the-ordinary experience when staying in Bangkok. Forget those "ordinary" hotels; www.mysticplacebkk.com

Just opened – A room with a view

Amangiri opened in October 2009 and is located on a 600 acre expanse of wilderness in Canyon Point, close to the border with Arizona (USA). The resort is tucked away in a protected valley.

Two accommodation wings lead from the Pavilion into the desert: 16 suites are located within the Desert Wing and another 18 suites together with the Aman Spa are located with the Mesa Wing. Rooms with a view not to miss! www.amanresorts.com

Hot News: Main Belgian MICE industry associations create BEEF!
Who will be elected as first president?

All the main industry associations in Belgium - ABITO, ACEA, BAPCO, BSV, DMAI, ESAE, Expobel. FEBELUX, Initiative, MPI, MSI, SITE - announced today they have joined forces to create BEEF! in this, the year of the Belgian Presidency of the EU.

BEEF has nothing ostensibly to do with agriculture. This startlingly simple and expressive acronym stands for the newly formed BElgian Events Federation (after all, conferences, congresses, conventions, exhibitions, expos, incentives, meetings, motivational events seminars, workshops.... are all just different sized events).

Alternative meanings in English for 'beef' are strength and power. To 'beef' is also to complain and to 'beef something up' means to give it more strength. BEEF! will be doing just that! By joining together like this, BEEF will 'beef up' the meetings & events industry in Belgium and 'beef' where necessary to raise the profile of meetings & events and ensure that the industry speaks with a single voice....at long last.

An unnamed source stated, "We wanted BBT Online to be the first to know about BEEF! so the message would get out quickly to the industry before the Easter break".

Other related associations like BATM, C&FW and the Union are expected to sign up for BEEF too, giving the federation a total of 15 active association members. EFAPCO is also said to be watching developments closely.

For the latest news & reactions, click here...

EMIF: to be or not to be….remains the question!

March 17 – 18 Tour & Taxis, Brussels was the setting for the latest edition of EMIF, the European Meetings Industry Fair.

Regardless of what its detractors may say, let’s start by stating that Belgium needs a trade fair for the Meetings & Incentives Industry. Many will agree with me that EMIF fulfills a role in our industry that has its importance in the grander scheme of things. Was it a success? Maybe not if you look at the published visitor figures (2518 visitors) which show a small decrease versus last year.

However, having walked the aisles for two days and having spoken to a great many exhibitors, most were actually pleased with the quality of the visitors and many even spoke about having gotten more than one request for proposal. Now that is something we did not hear too often last year so from a point of view of quality contacts it seems the 2010 edition was an improvement on last year.

Click here to

Brussels Meeting Week - 15 – 19 March 2010 – By Viviane Vogels

Two events to kick off the Brussels Meeting Week: a press conference and the Brussels Awards ceremony. Both organized in Square. So far so good...

After being open now for a number of months, Square should have ironed out its irritating mistakes such as the abysmal signalisation: nobody around in the main hall to direct people, thank god for a stray PCO who was guiding some clients through the building and knew where I needed to be...

What to say about the numbers: yes, we know we had a lesser year in 2009, yes we hope to do better, and definitely yes, the Belgian Presidency of the EU will help Brussels tremendously this year in boosting the Meetings & Events business.

There is still – vague- talk about an extra convention centre on the Heysel plateau, the authorities are ‘talking’ to shopkeepers in Brussels to investigate the possibility of a late shopping night. The very good news is that BITC is restructuring and the position of General Manager has been created which as from May 1st will be filled by the eminently capable Patrick Bontinck, we wish him loads of courage, he’s got a job and a half to do!

Click here to read more on the Brussels Meeting Week and to know the winners of the Brussels Awards.

Crisis Phase 2 – Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
2 more presidents and their views on the Crisis
Pascal Struyve
President BATM

Within the world of managed business travel we see signs of improvement however it clearly too early to say that the crisis is behind us. When the crisis will be over is hard to say as we don’t have a crystal ball but it will certainly take another couple of quarters before we can really say that the financial crisis is history.

But even when the crisis is over it will take a long time before we get back to the levels of 2008.

Click here to

Hugo Slimbrouck
President ABITO

“Those companies that had savings prior to the crisis and who did not have all their eggs in one basket, will have been able to survive this last crisis.” says Hugo as President of ABITO. He cannot speak for the others but looking at his own company (MCI/Ovation) he can only conclude that adaptability has definitely been the name of the game lately and the way to the future lies in the role the DMC has to play.

DMC’s have to become more than ever consultants to the clients.
Click here to

In our next Take5 edition we speak with Sam Van de Kerckhof of BAPCO and Raymond Desmet of Initiative.

BBT Online's 2nd Reader Event with a Swiss flavor!

Last year BBT Online organized its first Reader Event, jointly with Dolce La Hulpe Brussels. This year’s event took place on two days: on 2 March 15 Incentive Houses and on 9 March 10 Corporate Planners had a wonderful and informative evening. Your favorite online business travel and MICE magazine teamed up with the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau in Brussels, headed by Myriam Winnepenninckx.
Click here to

Real Short !!

BTC, the Italian trade show for the meetings, incentives, conferences, events and business travel industry will be held on 1-2 July in Rimini. www.btc.it
Charles-Eric Vilain XVIIII and Kathleen Bertier, President of MPI Belgium Chapter, officially launched EFSMI 2010, The 1st European Forum on Sustainability in the Meetings Industry at EMIF 2010.
The programme and all relevant information will be soon available on www.EFSMI.eu. On-line registration started on 29 March.
Düsseldorf will host hundreds of meeting professionals in 2011 at the European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC). Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) annual EMEC will be held at the Düsseldorf Congress from Feb. 12 – 15, 2011. www.mpiweb.org
15 & 16 March 2011 next edition of EMIF. www.emif.be
Consutlt BBT Online’s Agenda, and don’t miss any MICE event – www.bbtonline.eu

Thalys travellers will be able to check their travel expenses with one click with the new collaboration between Thalys and the management system MobileXpense.
A recent international study has shown that a recipient of an email campaign in Europe will be 72% more inclined to visit the website of the promoted! Contact us for more information on our e-mailing campaigns! info@bbtonline.eu
Curaçao has attracted a record breaking 17% more Belgian Travellers in 2009.

On March 30th Novotel launched the 4th edition of the Asparagus Festival in it’s 9 Belgian hotels.
The Dominican loves Latino dancing! From the 1st till the 5th of April Argentina sends out its best tango dancers to impress Brussels at the Brussels Tangofestival. The Dominican organizes a unique showcase at the Grand Lounge on April 1st at 6pm.
Sofitel Le Louise in Brussels hosts the international photo exhibition ‘Fashion Stills’ from April 5th till June 6th.
Celebrate Easter at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Brussels with special rates and a great Easter Brunch!
...or go to Spa and join in the great Easter egg chase at the Radisson Blu Balmoral Spa Hotel…fun guaranteed!
Dolce La Hulpe Brussels has brought in the help of food consultants to enrich the menu carte with food groups that are a stimulus for our mental capabilities! Both breakfast & lunch buffets and coffee breaks will have the Food for the Brain-certificate. Info www.foodforthebrain.org.
Kempinski will open the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok in June. The luxury city resort with 303 rooms and suites is located adjacent to a royal palace in the centre of Bangkok.
Aloft Hotels, the design brand of Starwood Hotels, opens its first European hotel this year in Brussels near the European institutions. 10 more Aloft hotels will be opened in the coming year.
Rezidor Hotels Benelux – the 9 Radisson Blu Hotels - donate 14.000 euro to charity. Worldwide the Rezidor group has donated 75.000 euro to the World Childhood Foundation.

Starting with the summerschedule, Delta Air Lines will decrease its services from the Cincinnati hub. This means a loss of 840 jobs.
Hangzhou new KLM destination in China -6th destination -as from May 8th making them the first airline with direct link between Hangzhou and Europe.
United Airlines celebrated on the 29th of March the inauguration of its new daily nonstop service between Brussels and Chicago. The route will be operated flying a newly reconfigured Boeing 767-300.
The 8th ERA (European Regional Airline Conference) takes place on April 14-15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. www.eraa.org
On March 28th Etihad Airways became the first Middle Eastern Airline to inaugurate a direct flight from the Middle East to Tokyo.
KLM has introduced new luggage rules as per 28 March. Economy passengers, regardless of their destination are only allowed 1 piece of maximum 23 Kg. A surcharge of € 55 will be charged for extra pieces!

Sara De Wachter has started up her own company ‘Discover’. She can be reached on sara@discoverwtp.com
Charles-Eric Vilain XIIII has left Lille Convention Bureau and started his own company in the world of events & catering especially where champagne & chocolates are concerned. For more info, charles-eric@alexalexclub.com
On the 25th of March, Samanda Fersobe (Director Dominican Republic Benelux) has been appointed as new president of the Union of Foreign National Tourist Boards in Belgium. samanda@visitdomrep.com
Center Parcs Europe has appointed Anne Marie Pareyn (49 - Belgian) as General Manager of the Domaine des Trois Forêts in France, the largest tourism project in Europe in 2010.
Sébastien Gochel is the new General Manager of the Radisson Blu Balmoral Hotel in Spa. He succeeds Séverine Philippin who has taken up a new challenge at ‘Les Thermes de Spa’.
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.
Air travel can make for strange relations!! Enjoy!

Greetings from Istanbul!
I have just read the Destination report on Istanbul published in your recent newsletter.  It is truly one of the very few excellent insider articles I have read in quite a while and I would like to thank for the wonderful exposure you are giving our destination.
Karin Paquay - Managing Director - DMT Destination Management Turkey
So if you missed this great report, go to www.bbtonline.eu

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