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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 30th edition.

BBT Online & Facebook
Cirque du soleil – a spectacularly spectacular spectacle

Social Media have undeniably taken their – important – place in our world and so, since recently, BBT Online readers can become fans of BBT Online on Facebook.

Get the latest news first, not just on what goes on in the world of meetings & incentives, but news on workshops, educationals, trade fairs etc.. Just go to our Home page or go to Facebook and write BBT Online in the search field application. Just click on ‘Become a fan’ and you’re linked up!

Our goal is to make this Community Page, the best collection of shared Meeting and Incentive knowledge. Don’t hesitate to post an idea, suggestion, recommendation etc on our wall.

Cirque du soleil

Last month BBT Online’s Bruce Taylor was invited by friends at Destination Quebec in Paris to go to Ostend of all places to see the Cirque du Soleil of all things. He had of course heard of the Cirque, but never been to a show, or even heard about it from anyone who had.

He has never liked the circus with its high-wire acts, Agendasad clowns and even sadder animals. But felt he had to go. But he was not really looking forward to it.

Well, how wrong was that…! Click here to read his report.
Brazil is hot!! - Destination Report

Christophe De StoopChristophe De Stoop of the Belgian Incentive House Passaporta traveled to Brazil this summer.

The focus went on Rio, without any doubt the most appealing city for first time visitors to this enormous country and ... he fell once again completely under its spell. The trip to this exciting city and its exotic inhabitants is described as a permanent assault on the senses.

Makes for good reading, especially if you’re planning a trip in that direction in the coming months. Click here for a full report.


Heaven on earth on Cap Skirring, Senegal: “Les Alizes Beach Resort”

“Les Alizes”, official suppliers of dreams and emotions in Cap Skirring...

advertisementThe 5 ***** boutique hotel ‘Les Alizes Beach Resort’, is located barely 5 km from the international airport and the village of Cap Skirring (Casamance / Senegal), right in the middle of a marvellous 4.5 ha cultivated garden.

This luxury, charming & authentic property consists of 15 spacious Suites varying from 80 to 245 m² for 2 to 8 people and 2 big Lofts measuring respectively 110 and 170 m² for 2 to 4 persons. Directly facing the ocean and with a 180° view looking down onto the mythical sandy beaches of Cap Skirring, renowned as the most beautiful in all of West Africa, you will enjoy the panoramic overflow swimming pool with jets and spa bath therapy baths on the property, unique to Cape Skiring. A wide range of treatments are available in the Beauty Center as well as a great variety of outdoor activities.

The estate is called “feet in the water” along the most beautiful fine sand beach of Cap Skirring (private & 180 m wide), in a luxuriant tropical garden.
Enjoy light and organic lunch at the beach at the “Escale Gourmande” grill restaurant or fine dining at the gastronomic restaurant “Le Langoustier”, the “Rhum Bar” and the “Lounge Bar” are also highly recommended watering holes in Senegal and Africa!

Treat yourself, come to the top beach hotel in Senegal and... just enjoy life at “Les Alizes”! Jean-Paul FONTAINE <>

heaven heaven heaven
heaven heaven heaven
Restaurants in Brussels news
We like: L’Autre Cantina

After a two month renovation period, the Sea Grill restaurant at the Radisson Blu Royal hotel in Brussels has reopened its culinary doors. The restaurant has been made bigger but the number of covers (70) stays the same creating more space for diners. Chef Yves Mattagne is now also the Manager of the restaurant.

Of a totally different ilk, are the new concept restaurants Steak Frit’, a brainchild of Fernand David. Steakfrit' is a modern and contemporary brasserie with stylish traditional elements that refer to the classical Belgian kitchen without nostalgia. There are already two addresses available, one near Grand’Place and one in the Schumann area and on October 4th opens the 3rd at the Fishmarket and October 26th at Porte de Namur.
Mini yet original event proposal

A romantic dinner for two under the arches at the Brussels' Cinquantenaire…That's the most minimalist event ever created by catering company, Les frères Debekker.

This 30-year old company, managed by two different generations, strives to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable and always looks for innovative ideas. We are not sure how romantic sitting in a possible rather drafty location under the immense arches can be but one has to give full marks for creativity and the originality factor! Click here.


Not just good, but original too. Behind a hidden door on the Chaussee de Vleurgat (just off Avenue Louise), where you have to ring to be admitted, you discover a different & madly exotic world  created by a delightful Brazilian Artist-Chef, Maryangela Teixera Gusmao.

So what’s so special? Apart from all the colourful fantasy decor both inside & out in the lovely garden, Maryangela offers a Brazilian Buffet at lunchtimes and the quality & freshness of the food is excellent, unlike most buffets. What is even more novel is that she charges you by the kilo for what you eat, at 17 euro per kilo to be precise. Yes, you take what you want from the buffet and then she weighs it (minus of course the plate). Our lunchtime plate of entrees cost a mere 6.73 euro.

In this way you don’t see people piling up their plates at the buffet, as if tomorrow there’ll be a nuclear war. And also those who are not so hungry (or on an eternal diet), do not have to pay a full set price for all they can eat.  In this way waste is kept to a strict minimum.
And last but not least, there are intimate areas in the restaurant which you can take over for small private groups. Dinner is more like a traditional restaurant.
Organisation of Workshops

Do you want to make sure that the right people attend your workshops? You do not want the freeloaders; you want the real meeting & event planners.

Time to call upon BBT Online. We design the online invitation to your specifications; we handle the online registrations and confirmations. We aim for the right participants and follow-up on the invitation to avoid no-shows and ensure a perfect attendance at your event.

All this at very reasonable conditions and in a professional way. Contact us at

The Presidents Lunch, a historic first in Belgium

newsSeptember 15th, 2010, remember that date! It’s the date of the first and arguably historic meeting of the Presidents of the major associations in the Meetings & Events industry in Belgium.

An EMIF initiative based on an idea by BBT Online’s Bruce Taylor, this lunch was aimed at bringing together the various fragmented associations within our sector, in order to explore future collaborations and joint initiatives. And for a first initiative it can be deemed a success with 12 associations around one table and several others who, for pure planning reasons could not be present but expressed a great interest.

Although most present knew one another, there were a few lesser known players around the table but it has to be said that all contributed actively and – most important – positively – to the debate. Because debate there was!

BBT Online’s Viviane Vogels was the moderator. Click here to read her report.
The opening of the CCD
Bali Splendor
convention center

The Convention Centre Dublin is Ireland’s first purpose-built convention centre, located in Spencer Dock in the heart of Dublin city and has quickly become a landmark building.

The CCD was designed around the delegate experience and offers 22 multi-functional, flexible rooms suitable for meetings, conferences and exhibitions of all shapes and sizes – from small corporate meetings to international congresses. The auditorium can seat up to 2,000.

Recognized as the first carbon neutral convention centre, the contemporary design of the building meets the highest standards of environmental sustainability.

It is now possible to view the venue ( with an interactive venue plan and explore the 22 flexible meeting rooms.


The Alila Villas Uluwatu is a cluster of buildings, terraces, pools and gardens located 100 meters above the Indian Ocean on a limestone cliff on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula

Resort accommodations consist of 52 one-bedroom villas (291 sqm), 2 two-bedroom villas (582sqm), 25 private villas (2000-3000 sqm) and five cliffside villas with pool (also 2,000-3,000 sqm).

Should guests ever want to emerge from these blissful sanctuaries, the facilities available to them include a palm-fringed, 50-metre pool, a fully-equipped fitness centre, an extensive resort library, a cigar bar, an event centre and a wedding pavilion and lawn. For relaxation and rejuvenation, guests can head to the Spa Alila, five villas where traditional Balinese massages and beauty treatments are offered day and night.
Wish you were here… Santorini

Of all the Greek Islands Santorini is possible the ‘coolest’ of them all, an island that has inspired many feelings in many people. The island with the Divine touch is also a description one often reads.

Katikies Hotels were the first Hotels on the Caldera cliffs to ever provide luxury personalized services and facilities, combined with their unique natural environment and location. Experience the beauty of Santorini Island and delight in the azure infinity.


Destination Report: Switzerland boring? We don’t think so!

vivianeThe Ticino Region of Switzerland has a lot to offer not in the least beautiful lakes, great climate and excellent wines. It is region that begs for long walks, leisurely strolls through its cozy cities and cool watersports. Shopping, food and entertainment facilities abound.

Our reporter Viviane Vogels discovered some interesting venues on a short visit to Lugano. Click here to read more.


MPI - Educational Revue 2010
IT&CM China – 13-15 April 2011

Since 2007, IT&CM China a spin-off from IT&CM Asia, has established itself as China's leading professional Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) business and networking event dedicated to "Promoting China to the World and the World to China".

The quantum growth of the show over the last four years is testimony to China's appeal as the World's next MICE powerhouse - realizing the possibility that the future of the MICE industry might eventually result in two distinct markets: China and the rest of the world.

As in the past, BBT Online is a Media partner of this great show and organizes a small group of Hosted Buyers to accompany them to Shanghai in the spring of next year. If you are interested, please contact us at

Imagine a magazine: you have lead articles, columns and short snippets. This is exactly the way the Educational of MPI is organized: about 20 ‘contributors’ or speakers will entertain and inform and invite comments because the whole day will be interactive.
Some speakers, the lead articles, will have 1 hour, others only an intervention of 8 minutes…the general idea throughout is “A united meeting industry, discovering new frontiers".

A wide angle and entertaining mix of all kinds of information, tips and tricks, interviews, news and trends of value for the meeting industry.

The venue: Hilton Antwerp.
The date: October 19th 2010.

The Brabant Wallon Region goes professional

September 28th marked the official opening of the Brabant Wallon Convention Bureau in Nivelles.

The infrastructure of the region offers great opportunities for Meetings & Events and therefore a professional convention bureau has been set up to maximize the potential of its different members such as Dolce La Hulpe, Walibi Belgium, Martin's Hotel Chateau du Lac in Genval. Other Founding Members are: the Aula Magna at Louvain-la-Neuve, Martin’s Lido Hotel at Genval, the Chamber of Commerce of the Brabant Wallon Region, the Chateau de Limelette, the Mercure Louvain-La-Neuve, the Leonardo hotel in Wavre.

A professional and user friendly website will go live in October. The management of the convention bureau is in the capable hands of Florence Camus.

BATM looks at consumer rights in latest Forum

On 23 September in the relaxed garden atmosphere of Best Western’s County House Hotel in Uccle, BATM’s (Belgian Association of Travel Management) latest Forum kicked off with a networking lunch, before moving on to the serious & educational part of the day …and the reality of consumer rights and how process a claim in practice…. 

A must for any airline passenger… Read on….

Real Short !!

October 23rd sees the start of the 31st edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race on Malta,
World Travel Market 2010, the premier global event for the travel industry, takes place between 8 - 11 November 2010.
17-18 November: Festivak, the indispensable trade fair for the events business – Hangar 29, Waagnatie – Antwerp.
Save the date: 22nd of November. From 7 till 11 pm. Workshop Curacao, Ireland, Oman and Valle d’Aosta for Belgian Incentive Agencies only.  More info:
29th November at The Dominican, Brussels: Queensland On Tour, in collaboration with Antipodes and Qantas Holidays, a workshop with 26 exhibitors. Register on
The present edition of the Best of MICE Networking Forum “European Cities” will be held in Seville from the 15th to the 18th of December with an estimated attendance of 50 suppliers and 60 buyers representing European blue chip companies and associations.
9 – 11 January 2011: AEB, Artists & Events Trade Fair at the Beursgebouw in Eindhoven, Holland.
South East European Exhibition for Meetings, Events & Incentive Travel. 19 – 20 January. Ljubljana, Slovenia. Up to 200 leading meeting industry buyers from associations, corporations and agencies are to be selected for the Conventa Hosted Buyer programma.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Lighting a cigarette in the park or on the beach will soon become taboo in New York as the city extends the already existing smoking ban in cafes and restaurants.
Do you know ‘The Midweek’? Ardennes Etape offers 30% reduction on hundereds of Midweek proposals in the gorgeous Ardennes. Go to for a super deal.
The XXL room at Kortrijk Xpo Meeting Center is now totally finished with the addition of the brand new tiered stand for 550 people.
The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published its second quarterly report on European Tourism in 2010 - Trends & Prospects. The full report can be downloaded from ETC’s corporate website under the following link:
Belize starts a tourism project in its Brussels’ Embassy early November. For more info, contact Sofia Bobak on
From 26th June to 17th July 2011, Frankfurt will be one of the host cities and the venue for the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011.
According to the website TechCrunch, Facebook is working on the development of an own telephone.
Looking for a good and original travel guide? Go to
EIBTM announces unique Industry Research: a survey of Planners, Tourist Offices and Convention Bureaux about their business over the past twelve months, their challenges, future perceptions, opportunities, influences of choice of location and business predictions for the next 12 months.
The judges have made their choice for the 2010 World Tourism Day Photo Competition on the theme ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’. Of the more than 500 photos received, five photos were selected as those that best captured the close relationship between biodiversity and tourism. View the winning photos:

HOTELS & RESTAURANTS is a complete directory of hotels in the capital of Europe. It provides Brussels hotels description and rates, all hotels are located on a Brussels map and are completed with many surfers comments.
The Belgian hotel industry has had a hard year says Horwarth HTL. The hotel occupancy of 2009 went from 70 to 63% and also the average room rates lost 11,6% and were reduced to 84 euro thus halving the gains by half. They predict a slight improvement for this year but results will stay under the 2008 level. Research was done in nearly 400 three, four and five stars hotels in the Benelux. They predict the hotel industry will have made a full recovery by 2012.

Alitalia: new direct service between Rome and Rio de Janeiro. Starting June 4th, 2011.
Airline Presidents and Airport Directors who met on the 23rd of September in Barcelona at the Annual General Assembly of the European Regions Airline Association (ERA), expressed outrage at the failure of Europe’s politicians and regulators to act to provide financial compensation to the industry following the eruption of Mount Eyjafjallajoekull which caused widespread closure of airspace and cancellation of flights.
S7 Airlines, Russia’s leading domestic carrier, will become part of oneworld with effect from Monday 15 November.
Thai Airways International (THAI) has launched the Carbon Offset Programme with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to provide customers with the opportunity to offset carbon emissions generated from flying.
Amadeus launches a new service: real time flight information via SMS.
Sky Work Airlines from Switzerland start with flights to Brussels, Bern and Angers (France) on February 14th 2011 and this 4x per week.
Ethiopian Airlines joins the Star Allliance, giving it a stronger representation in East Africa.

Elke Tobback has started as Business Development Manager Groups Department with BCD Travel. She can be reached at
The Netherlands Convention Board in Brussels is looking for a Marketing Manager for Meetigs & Conventions. Address CV and motivation letter to Bram Straatman at
Yannick Busaan has left Square and is looking for a new challenge.
Peter Hesp was appointed General Manager of the Radisson Blu in Hasselt, Belgium.
The EIBTM CEO Summit will now become a global meetings industry thought leadership group, with an independent Chair following the appointment of industry professional Jeremy Garbett.
Luc Frederix was appointed General Manager for Avis Belgium and follows in the footsteps of Stephane Soille who was promoted general manager Austria, Benelux, Switzerland & Group Operations.
3 new people in Dorint Spa-Balmoral’ sales team: Fabienne van Dijck as Director of Sales & Marketing, Maxine Buchter as Marketing & Sales Manager and Jan Kleingeld as Relationship Manager.

Dear Karin, I wish to congratulate you and your team for the BBT Online.  What a lovely idea!  It gives a clear picture of the venues one would not have even imagined had they not been pointed out which enables for us, new ideas and new choices spot on.
I will read you in the future with great pleasure and enthusiasm.
Evelyn Joan Cremati, International Services Organization Hospitality.

Laughing is good for you! In every Take5 edition we publish a small funny video from YouTube.
Do you want to know more about Belgium?. Click here.


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