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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 23rd edition.

Simultaneous concert of 100 pianos
Organize your own kidnap!

This summer Warsaw will become the world capital of the Chopin music. It will be possible as a result of one of the numerous Chopin events taking place this year in Warsaw: a unique, simultaneous concert of 100 pianos played on August 29th in the Piłsudski Square in Warsaw.

Celebrated all around the World Chopin Year inspired Warsaw Destination Alliance foundation to both present Warsaw in an unusual way and to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth.


A French company has come up with a very original idea against boredom: organize your own kidnap. Based on the movie ‘The Game’ the basic idea is that you get abducted, tied up and left in a dark place for 4 hours…the idea can be expanded on with wild pursuits, helicopter hunts etc… all depends on the budget. Insurance is included.

Personally it does not sound like our cup of tea, but for more adventurous types this could be the perfect antidote to boredom.


Sleep in the City - Antwerp

Just like with ‘Sex and the City’ we are fan since the start: ‘Sleep in the City’. 3 individual apartments located in a former shop, right in the centre of Antwerp’s fashion district. The perfect base for shopping, culture and going out. A minimum of 2 nights is required. Style: Bohemian Chic. Rates between 120 and 150 euro per night.


Sleep in the city

Camping in the desert - have a meeting under the stars

Pansea Ksar Ghilane - A shimmering mirage awaits you in the Tunisian Sahara - nestled at its own oasis in the midst of the desert. Located southeast of Zaafrane, in the southern part of Tunisia, accessible by 4x4 from Djerba (3 hours), Douz and Tozeur (4 hours), the Pansea Ksar Ghilane is a refreshing stop.

The 60 spacious linen tents are nestled at this private oasis around the large free-form swimming pool, and offer surprising comfort in such a location. Careful no telephone nor television in the tents but -wait for this- … a conference room for 120 people in the middle of the desert.. now that's wild! www.pansea.com


Le Camp des Dunes - 4 hours of cross desert from Ouarzazate (Morocco) in a 4x4 takes you to the ‘Camp des Dunes’ where 15 comfortable tents await the visitors for a stay under the stars in the heart of the desert. Separate shower and toilet tents are available of course.

The round restaurant tent – or just under the stars – serves typical Moroccan cuisine in authentic style. No lack of activities either from initiations into local cuisine, to excursions in the desert on camelback…a treat for the more adventurous travelers. www.camps-nomades.com

camp dunes

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

anouckAnouk Carryn, Managing Director A.C.T.E Travel & Events & Site Belgium board member is born and bred in Brussels and has always been a “travel-lover”.
Anouk organizes incentives and seminars all over the world, including Belgium.

Click here to read her favorites.

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


Rotterdam viewed from the water
SITE Belgium Meet & lunch

Splashtours offers an unusual view of Rotterdam from an amfibus. The trip starts as any other sightseeing tour in a bus through the streets of the city and then… the bus takes a splash into the river Maas and continues its trip around the Rotterdam skyline, viewed from the water this time.

The amfibus can be privatized for groups up to 45 persons. Original to say the least!


site belgium

On May 11th at Diamond Conference Center (Brussels) the next SITE Meet & Lunch will have our journalist Viviane Vogels as guest speaker.

Viviane will tackle the sometimes ‘hairy’ subject of etiquette, dress codes and more…are they necessary or just a pain in the…. A walk through the do’s and don’ts with regards to mails, parties, trade fairs,etc…. and why some of the rules make economical sense.


Wish you were here ….


If the sunshine over the last few weeks has made you dream of a holiday by the sea within train or driving distance, Cassis in the South of France on the Med is the perfect place for you!

3 luxury rooms offering great views of the bay from their individual terraces. All three rooms have their own airco system, internet access and kitchenette; La Suite is minutes away from the citycentre. It has a great swimming pool with a view on the Med … when are we going?



BHA ‘s (Brussels Hotel Association) new Team
New quality label: Equal!

End of April BHA waved goodbye to its president Patrick Bontinck of who is taking up his new function as Managing Director of BITC. Patrick was instrumental in identifying and appointing his successor and Jacques Vitu, General Manager of the Amigo Hotel, will be taking up the challenge.

A veteran hotelier with both national and international experience Jacques Vitu will bring to the table extensive knowhow of the industry but also of the market to the table that will be invaluable in all the dealings with governments and other official bodies.

A new function was created of Secretary General and the first appointment goes to Rodolphe van Waeyenbergh who puts his dynamic vision and experience at the disposal of his Brussels’ colleagues.

Equal is a new quality label in the events world in Belgium. It was recently created by 8 agencies: Guava, Act!events, MeetMarcel, BEVAS Events, 24Seven, Event Masters, Noves Group and Escape. Is it a fluke that these 8 agencies left the professional association ACEA last year, we’ll let you be the judge of that!

They are no competitors of ACEA as some agencies are members of both. They aim of course for the highest level of professionalism and have strict admission criteria:

• Belgian event agencies with a clear structure
• Active for at least 3 years
• Administration (VAT, Social Security etc..) in the clear
• Stable finances: annual external audit
• Respect for Equal’s Code of Conduct


ligne holland

Hybrid Thinking in Hotels –
Welcome to the future
How to captivate an audience: 3 tips
hybrid thinking

The Design Hotels™ Future Forum 2010 will focus on “Hybrid Thinking“ in the context of hospitality.

Hybrid thinkers blend different skills and fields of thought to develop innovative concepts. Their ideas have the ability to shape entire industries from automotive to hospitality. Like-minded, visionary hoteliers around the globe have started to create hybrid properties that go far beyond the original purpose of simply providing a bed.

Find out more at this year's Design Hotels™ Future Forum, contact futureforum@designhotels.com


Both experienced and less experienced speakers can benefit from following tips:

1. Ask yourself can I do this presentation in 20 seconds even if I have been given 20 minutes?
Start your preparations by asking yourself what is the one thing/idea that the audience really needs to remember? Studies show us that audiences very quickly forget (50% by the end of the day, 90% by the end of the week) therefore the essence of the presentation has to be very clear.

Click here to read more.

Growth in occupancy rates
Royal Wedding in Stockholm

A new report, compiled for ETC by Tourism Economics, shows that overnight visits to European destinations declined 6% in 2009 while international travel around the world fell an estimated 4.7% against the headwinds of the global recession.

However, signs of a travel recovery emerged in the final months of the year as economies around the world strengthened.

Click here to read more.


On 19 June 2010 the wedding of HRH Crown Princess Victoria and Mr Daniel Westling will take place in Stockholm. The City of Stockholm is inviting everyone to a magnificent event, where Stockholmers, tourists and visitors can celebrate together.

The theme of the event is love and its name is Love Stockholm 2010. The event takes place from the national day on June 6th until the wedding on June 19. www.stockholmtown.com/royal

Hotel produces own electricity
Lobsters Galore !!
crowne plaza

The Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers created a first by letting its guest produce electricity!
The 366 room hotel is one of the greenest in the world and has taken things one step further: the bicycles in the fitness room are wired to provide electricity.

Any guest producing 10 or more watt of electricity gets a free meal made of local produce. Guests are not only encouraged to keep fit but also to limit their carbon footprint.

As from June guests can even ‘compete’ with a solar panel on the roof to see who produces most electricity…

29 restaurants in Brussels (9 of which are situated on the famous Vismet!), 17 on the Belgian Coast, 6 restaurants in Antwerp,…. in total 100 Belgian Restaurants all over the country will serve the most delicious preparations of the excellent Canadian Atlantic Lobster from May 21st till June 20th!  

The food ambassador of Canada is a well loved dish in Belgium therefore the initiative is definitely a food festival not be missed in a restaurant near you.
A full list of participating restaurants can be found on…, click here.

BBT Online partners Antoine Pinto & Midi Station

For our 3rd Readers' event BBT Online went to MidiStation with over 40 top meeting & event organisers to celebrate their first Birthday. MidiStation opened just over a year ago in April 2009.

It was a fun & instructive evening which started with champagne, closely followed by guided tours in small groups of this outstanding multi-purpose venue; a 4 course dinner with excellent wines and a grand finale in the Club Cigar Bar for the most resilient, who finished off the evening with coffee and a perfect Havana cigar.

So what exactly is Midi Station and what are it its USPs? Who is Antoine Pinto? 8 no-shows from event organizers !?!. Click here to read more.

midi station

Real Short !!

On the 28th of May the tourist board of Seoul (South Korea) organizes a MICE workshop in Brussels. Info: workshopseoul@axium1.com or Tel + 33-1-41 38 09 85
Event ROI Institute offers 1-day training courses in the ROI Methodology. Go to www.eventroi.org for more information and registration.
A must to attend for everybody who’s in the Spa Business: the international Spa Conference. 3 – 6 June 2010, Budapest - www.internationalspa.org/conference
The 9th edition of the Brussels Summer Festival will take place from August 13 to 22; the first names are known, tickets are available www.bsf-brusselssummerfestival.be
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event – www.bbtonline.eu/agenda.php

Want to know what to do and where to go in bubbling Antwerp? Go to www.outinantwerp.be and be informed of the latest hot spots to visit.
The Lido – Paris, celebrates in 2010 the 100th anniversary of the famous Miss Bluebell, the founder of the Bluebell Girls. www.lido.fr
The Limburg region in Holland has started up its own convention bureau: Parkstad Limburg Congres bureau and can be reached on www.parkstadlimburgcongresbureau.nl
A new attraction in Rotterdam: the completely renovated cruise ship ‘Rotterdam’ has found a permanent berth in the Rotterdam harbor and is now a hotel and event location. www.cruisehotel.nl
Thalys announces with immediate application the 8th daily trip to Amsterdam in the record times of 1h53.
India’s rapid ascent to tourism stardom has been acknowleged by the record number of local brands nominated for this year’s World Travel Awards. Companies in with a chance of picking up the highest accolade in travel and tourism include the Indian Maharajas Express for “Asia’s Leading Luxury Train” www.rirtl.com , and the Taj Lake Palace for “Asia’s Leading Resort” www.tajhotels.com .

Café Egmont, the brasserie of the Hilton Brussels promotes cuisine with the famous Brussels’ Lambik beers till the end of May. A 3-dinner course for 25 euro. www.hilton.com/brussel, www.huisvangeuze.be
Max Hotel in Brussels, a new concept 3-star hotel opened on April 21st - www.3starshotels.be
A new hotel project has been started in the heart of Antwerp to be readied by 2011. The project will count 45 rooms and 17 apartments in the 3-star category and is situated corner Leopoldstraat & Arenbergstraat. No name known yet.
The Thermae Palace Hotel in Ostend, Belgium will now be managed by Apollo Hotels & Resorts.
Novotel announces the opening of the 264 bedroom Novotel Barcelona city in downtown Barcelona near the Sagrada Familia.
Armani Hotel Dubai, the world’s first hotel developed by Armani Hotels & Resorts, in Burj Khalifa opened on April 21st.

From June of this year Ryanair passengers will find vending machines on board for hot/cold drinks, snacks and even condoms....
Etihad Airways started flying 5 times per week from home base Abu Dhabi to Baghdad, Irak on April 26th.
On May 13th Brazilian airline TAM joins the Star Alliance as the first South American airline since 2007.
Effective July 16th Thai adds 3 flights to the Paris – Bangkok route increasing the weekly number of flights to 10.
Two women have been arrested at Liverpool Airport after allegedly trying to smuggle a dead relative on to a passenger plane bound for Berlin. The 91-year-old German is believed to have died a day earlier, and that his two relatives were attempting to smuggle his body back home to avoid repatriation fees. They tried to fool check-in staff that he was just sleeping.

Since May 1st 2010, Carlson Wagonlit Travel Belux, is managed by Jan Willem Dekker, Executive Vice President Benelux. Baudouin Gillis stepped down as Vice President CWT Belux, but keeps a non-executive role, advising on matters in public relations and strategic development.
Martin’s Hotels are looking for a Distribution Manager for their Sales & Marketing Department. Contact Olivier Meulemans - Directeur Sales & Marketing : om@martinshotels.com - Tel. +32 (0)2 655 03 81 with a full cv.
Jef Moons, formerly of Thermae Palace in Ostend is looking for a new challenge. Jef.moons@pandora.be
BCD Travel has appointed the managing director of BCD Travel Benelux, Peter Buis, to vice -president for the whole South-west European division.
Beatrice Dormans, Director of Maastricht Events Company and Gunnar Souren, General Manager of the Crowne Plaza Maastricht, have both joined the management of the Maastricht Congres Bureau (MCB).


I just read your article on Belgium’s own volcano, http://www.bbtonline.eu/newsletter/volcano/index.html. Couldn’t agree more! In any other country, people, and especially entrepreneurs should have organized already a demonstration.
Can I find this article on your website? I should like to use it for twitter and for other social media.

Inge Van Belle – Managing Director – Hercules Trophy International

Laughing is good for you! In every take5 edition we publish a small funny video clip from YouTube. Get your regular dos of fun vitamins by clicking here. Serious subjects can also be tackled in a fun and humorous way!


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