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Welcome back after the summer recess! We hope you enjoyed these – for some – more quiet months. We at BBT Online are ready for the new season!
In this newsletter the latest developments in the Meetings & Events world; don’t miss our new columns ‘Tried & Tested: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. Enjoy your reading and do send us your comments and suggestions, they are more than welcome!

Brussels as you have never seen it!
Meet Japan 2011

Viage, the new Brussels Casino is more than gambling. Enjoy some breathtaking views of historical Brussels from the top floor gastronomic restaurant Kameleon Sky, an excellent venue for a business lunch or a more intimate dinner.

Your guests will be impressed by your choice…and the spectacular views!
Romance in Genval

To ensure that perfect tete-a-tete dinner, the place where nobody will come and disturb you, you have to take a small barge on the Lac de Genval near Brussels, that will take you to a small island in the lake with just a lovely wooden hut and terrace.

With the birds and the ducs as only neighbours, your peace and quiet are guaranteed. Contact ‘Le 16 au Lac’ +32 (0)2 654 16 00

The Japan Convention Bureau (JCB) in cooperation with Japan's International Convention Cities, invites association executives and international meeting planners to come to Japan next February 24 to March 3, 2011 as their guests to participate in "Meet Japan", Hosted Buyers Program 2011.

If you are planning to hold an international convention in Japan in the near future, seriously investigating the possibility, or currently holding or preparing to hold a convention here, this program is for you.

It offers the opportunity to visit Japan's beautiful regional cities and appreciate their superb convention and tourist amenities.

Click here for an application form.

BBT Online goes Dutch
From stables to luxury private meeting venue

BBT Online has Dutch roots with a Dutch born editor-in-chief but now BBT is also looking at expanding its database and activities in Holland.
Who better than a longstanding and well-known member of the Dutch Meeting and Events community, to spearhead this move to Holland than Anette Wezenberg. Anette, who is based in Amsterdam, is not only well connected but has a background in the MICE industry both national and international that will help her develop the Dutch market.

Anette WezenbergClick here to read more on Anette; this world citizen (She lived in Venezuela, Qatar, Thailand, Switzerland and Australia).  At the same time receive some tips about her favorite hotels, restaurants, etc adresses – in Amsterdam and the rest of the world - and certainly do not hesitate to contact her for more information on BBT Online’s activities, newsletters, etc..

private meeting

Nobody can imagine that the stately home near the Dutch – German border in Vaals used to be a cowshed. Today it is a fully restored home with a huge central room of 13x6 m.

Lots of glass, pottery, art and different assorted pieces, all come with a story.

AgendaGuests can also use 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and a great designer kitchen. The 3 hectares of land around the house are ideal for a long walk or teambuiling activities.

La Colline is the perfect place for a quiet corporate retreat or brainstorming with a group of people, quiet guaranteed!

When students look at incentive travel

Lien DeleuLien Deleu has just graduated with a full Bachelor Degree in Tourism and Recreation Management from the Tourism School KHBO in Bruges with a thesis on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Incentive Travel. When choosing a subject, Belgium was already in the grip of the crisis and that gave her the idea for her subject.

The paper starts off by defining the concept ‘incentive’ characteristics. The history of incentive travel is outlined and in general, the paper looks at what incentive travel in its truest sense is all about.

How was the research for this paper conducted? She devised a comprehensive questionnaire that was sent to incentive houses and companies who organize incentives. 42 fully filled out questionnaires gave a fairly accurate view of the incentive market in Flanders. Besides the questionnaires, a number of professionals in the incentive business were interviewed to get as broad a picture as possible.

Click here to read the results.
Meeting & Incentive Tips and Trends for hoteliers
Mini budget, maxi atmosphere
check in

The principle may be the same as in other budget hotels: a minimum of services, you check yourself in and out and get your own breakfast but at Max Hotel it is al cheerful and upbeat.
Rooms start as of eur 34 hotel Max  situated in the heart of Brussels on Boulevard A. Max. Refreshing!

A newcomer in Antwerp

In September Antwerp will have a new and original hotel situated in the up and coming trendy area of Zurenborg. 176 rooms in vibrant colors that contribute to your well-being, a trendy lifestyle hotel.

Original is the 100% Sir ‘No excuse’ guarantee. A new trend has arrived in Antwerp. For more information on rates & availability  contact Werner Spanjaers on or go to

Great Hotels Organisation, the London-based hotel sales and marketing alliance representing 3-5 star hotels, has announced its top ten meeting and incentive tips and trends for hoteliers.

  1. Budgets are growing but are still a deciding factor.
  2. ROI is even more important than before.
  3. Shorter lead times are becoming a noticeable trend.
  4. There has never been a more important time to invest in face-to-face meetings between suppliers and buyers.
  5. In an ever-changing market, buyers are looking for flexibility, added value without extra cost and fast responses to RFPs.
  6. CSR and environmental awareness continue to be hot topics for the meetings and incentives market.
  7. Spa and golf are not as important now that budgets are getting extra scrutiny.
  8. Incentives will be slowly coming back on the menu towards the end of 2010 and throughout 2011, albeit more discreetly than usual: more business, less pleasure!
  9. New destinations are emerging such as Vilnius, Tallin & Sofia.
  10. The world of social media is creeping into the meetings and incentive industry.
Wish you were here: Capo Spartivento

The Lighthouse of Capo Spartivento, the oldest in Sardinia, is now reborn as a luxury guest house with favorite6 exceptional junior suites. Appealing public spaces such as a library and more than 700 m² of panoramic terraces, an infinity pool and a Mediterranean garden make this a place you will not easily forget

The lighthouse can be booked by the week and is open all year round either as luxury guest house or as an exceptional venue for events. It was built in 1856 and is only accessible via the shuttle service from Cagliari airport since cars are prohibited in that area to protect an exceptional nature resort.

The lantern is still operational today and has been guiding mariners to safe havens for the last 150 years, now, let yourself be guided to gentle tranquility in a unique setting.


Openings – Openings - Openings

Hotel Sezz, Saint-Tropez, France
A 37-room resort located on the glamorous Cote d'Azur, is now open. The resort’s complex of low buildings is grouped around a spacious central pool area.

Indigo Pearl Spa – Phuket, Thailand
Opening in November the Spa at Indigo Pearl, a unique hotel in Phuket. The ultimate luxury - the Bensley Suite - an homage to renowned Bill Bensley design, with unique art pieces framing a private pool, nestled within a lush paradise.

Sextantio The Civita Caves – Matera, Italy
Restored from the abandoned and decaying ancient caves in the Basilicata village of Matera in Southern Italy, Sextantio The Civita Caves offers guests the opportunity to re-evaluate their interpretation of authenticity. 

Situated in the proverbial arch of the Italian boot, located in the heart of the Sassi, the hotel is 60 km away from the Bari airport and 250 km away from Naples. The importance of maintaining the traditional local aesthetic and preserving the existing architecture is thus intensified in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The owners have created 18 impeccable rooms in La Civita, composing a concoction of integrated traditional design made from local materials with minimalist contemporary amenities where necessary.


Meeting & Incentives Forums
Evaluation of the Travel Manager’s job

Raymond Desmet, Managing Partner @dmire, visited the Meeting & Incentive Forum which took place in Madrid this year from June 15 till 19. Around 100 exhibitors welcomed a total of about 200 interested visitors during a 2 x  2-day period.

raymond desmetClick here to read his positive report on the forum.

The next European Meeting & Incentive Forum will be held in Cannes, 26 – 30 October.

Club 100

BATM, the Belgian Travel Managers Association confirms that with all the changes in travel worldwide the job of the Travel Manager has become much more complicated and complex. And all that on top of priority number one: the control of all travel costs that is even more important than it ever was.

More than 70% of the members confirmed that their companies are applying even stricter rules than before. Travel Managers are supposed to work out travel strategies and adapted budgets for their companies. They have to find or create tools to make this happen.

NEW: Tried & Tested: the Good, the Bad and the downright Ugly!

On a regular basis we will bring you personal & honest comments on a hotel, restaurant or event that the BBT Online Team have Tried & Tested. We sincerely hope not to have too many encounters of the Ugly kind!

The Good: Hotel Les Nuits in Antwerp
It will come as no surprise to the fans of Flamant Interiors that their hotel in Antwerp, Hotel Les Nuits, smileylocated next to the Flamant shop in the heart of the Golden Shopping triangle of Antwerp is elegantly appointed.

However there is more to a memorable stay than beautiful rooms. Very friendly staff, the breakfast was original, the Flamant Dining experience first rate. We could not have wished for a better place to stay from where to spend quality time in Antwerp without breaking the bank! And there are 3 multifunctional meeting spaces that can take up to 24 people.

The Bad: Chalet Robinson in Brussels
badCuriosity for seeing this mythical place that rose as the phoenix from its ashes and has always been special to Brussels and its inhabitants, drove us on a Sunday afternoon in July to take the little boat to the Chalet on its own island in the Bois de la Cambre.

We will spare you the details but when one has to wait forever for service, if tables are not cleared, when staff are clearly undermanned and not enough trained, what should be a calling card for the Capital of Europe, is in fact no better than a cheap rundown café. Chalet Robinson is supposed to be one of our top locations for events, one can only hope that they have a different crew for handling groups & events. This visit was an unmitigated disaster!

TEDx, ideas worth spreading
Feet in the water
Meeting Trophy

Every year the TED Conference in Long Beach, California attracts many visitors and millions of people follow the inspirational speakers via internet. Different regions in the world now have their own local TED event, called TEDx and on September 10 the TEDx Eurtropolis will take place in Maastricht.

Want to hear more about this first class event, contact Tamara Weide or go to

We have all walked on the beach with our feet in the water. In Dunkirk, France they go further and organize walks ‘in’ the sea up to one’s diaphragm and equipped with a paddle. During 1 ½ hours walking is not only good for your health, it also feels like a good massage.

The French media have it into a hype and some days over 300 walkers can be seen in the water near Dunkirk. “Longe Cote” can also be organized for first timers.
Small is beautiful
An original partner for your events

‘Entre Amis’ is an initiative of Françoise Dugruet from Antwerp who discovered the gorgeous city of Budapest. If you’re looking for alternative accommodation – 3 apartments -  in Budapest, go to

In the South of France we found another sort of bubbles than the famous one from the North; 3 see through tents, with 3 different themes; Zen, Glamour and Oriental. It’s like you sleep under an open sky.

Need a special atmosphere for your event, looking for that exclusive special detail, searching for the perfect give-away…?
The wish company is specialized in finding all that and more for you, making the life of the organizer so much more easy!

Give them a brief and they will find the necessary pieces and execute your idea… it is as simple as that!
Real Short !!

On Sunday September, 12th a gigantic Balloon Parade, similar to the famous New York parades, will take place in Brussels.
September 14 is the date for the second Green Mice Workshop organized by Ardenne Meetings & Incentives at the ‘Maison du Luxembourg’ in Brussels.
27, 28 & 29 September: Venuez 10, The Belgian Barshow in Antwerp.
On October 2 at the Berlaymont-Brussels “Job Day Europe”, a recruitment event for all types of companies and organizations and a practical information event that deals with all aspects of mobility in Europe.
On October 4 & 5 will take place Access 2010: The Congresses, Meetings and Incentives Fair in Vienna. Interested in being a Hosted Buyer, surf to, or contact, in charge for the Belgium and Dutch market.
International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) will take place on 6 – 9 December 2010 in Cannes, France.
The International Luxury Spa Summit takes place in Cannes, France on 9-10 December 2010.
The new dates for AIME in Australia are announced: 15 & 16 February, 2011. Applications for the AIME 2011 VIP Hosted Buyers are now open.
Be Smart. Be Hip. Be Seen. At the ACTE (Associaton of Corporate Travel Executives) Global Education Conference, New York City, April 10-12, 2011.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE Agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Thalys renovates and between August 25 and September 18 puts up collectors items from the trains up for sale on Don’t miss this unique opportunity to sit in your own Thalys seat or use a Thalys ‘Cobra’ lamp. The complete collected amount will go to Unicef.
Want to check up on your knowledge of travel jargon? Surf to
The DMC Distant Frontiers was awarded for Outstanding Contribution in 2009-10by Taj Hotels.
Need a useful tool to find your next venue?
The Northern Irish town of Londonderry has been chosen as City of Culture for 2013.
Looking for holiday houses in the Ardennes? Go to
CWT Traffic Increases Nearly 17% in First Six Months of 2010.
Practical insider tips from the experts are now at your fingertips within seconds with Switzerland Tourism’s new iPhone Apps "City Guide".
At its annual convention MPI launched a new tool for the meetings industry: measurement of the impact of a meeting or convention on the environment.
London taxis have – once again – been voted the best in the world. The ‘knowledge ‘ or stringent exam each black London cabbie has to pass is without its equal in the world!
For Italy Lovers – great website - (in Dutch) - Culinairy, lifestyle, food, etc.

The beautiful restored chapel of the Kempinski Dukes Hotel in Bruges is the perfect venue for classical concerts. On September 24th the 2nd season starts again. For more info, click here.
Toerisme Vlaanderen and Brussels Convention Bureau booked the AIDEX humanitarian fair & convention in Brussels as from October 2011; this means an extra 15,000 hotel nights more per year for a period of 3 years!
Nearly two years after witnessing terrorist attacks which shocked the world, the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai has reopened.
The beautiful venue Kasteel De Hoogenweerth has joined the Maastricht Convention Bureau.
Don’t miss the 4th edition of ‘Eating with Art’ this year all geared towards James Ensor. From September 17th in Ostend. For info Tel: +3259701199
Emi's Rooms: 3 floors with 3 bedrooms and bathrooms (as big as the bedrooms), all contained in a 1930s mini doll's house, right in the heart of Ixelles (an upmarket neighbourhood in Brussels).
Rising elegantly above the bustling city of Dongguan- China, the new Sofitel Dongguan Humen Oriental has just been opened.
Dolce Hotels and Resorts announces the addition of a new property in the Napa Valley: the Silverado Resort.
For city slickers  & countryside lovers, this B&B in the south of Sweden brings harmony and tranquility. Here you find antique, modern designs, decorative intererior. Just go and enjoy. For a double it's only 75 euro per night.
The world-famous Japanese restaurant Nobu is due to open in September 2010 in the hotel Kempinski in Budapest.
After the recent opening of Swissotel Hotels & Resorts first hotel in India, the Swissotel Kolkata, the Swiss-based international hotel chain has now signed management contracts for two more hotels in India, the Swissôtel Gurgaon near Delhi and the Swissotel Whitefield, Bangalore.
Belgian born Sofia Vandaele announced the opening of the brand new W hotel in Downtown Manhattan, New York. Official opening was on August 18.

Michel Van Camp leaves Guava. Tome Bellens and Ken Koeklenberg take over the mamagment at Guava.
An Van de Steen leaves the Netherlands Convention Bureau in Brussels to start up her own company.
Vinciane Jacquiez, marketing manager Benelux & Scandinavia for Rail Europe Continental is leaving to pursue a personal project.
European Cities Marketing (ECM) has appointed Dr John Heeley to the post of its Interim Chief Executive Officer.
Hugo Slimbrouck, Regional Director of Sales at Ovation Global DMC  was voted Belgian Meetings Industry Personality 2010 by MPI Belgium.
Ana María Viscasillas, president & CEO, Puerto Rico Convention Bureau has been named Board Chairwoman of the Best Cities Global Alliance.

“I like to subscribe 2 times as a member of the BBT Online Club. BBT Online is the best Incentive Magazine I know.”
JaSing Chu, Owner JBC Agencies -  & Director Sales Marketing World Great Brazil Express –

Laughing is good for you! In every Take5 edition we publish a small funny video from YouTube.
Pillow Fight breaks out on a plane. Click here.


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