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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 31st edition.

Museumtalks Deluxe
Ferrari lovers’ dreams come true!

The collections of the Brussels’ museums are world famous and admired by many. But which are the pieces that any museum visitor should not miss at any rate?

The Brussels Museum Council accepted the challenge and went looking for 20 exceptional pieces to be found in the Brussels Museums. Each museum had to submit a list of 3 top pieces which became the basis of the shortlist of 20 “must see” items. Each piece is of exceptional historical and cultural importance both on a national and international level.

The full list can be found on

On October 26 Ferrari World (200.000 m²) in Abu Dhabi has been opened.  The park is situated 10 minutes from the airport and 50 min from the Yas Marina circuit.

Ferrari  proposes 20 different attractions in the park, the most spectacular being the Formula Rosso, a roller coaster that will go to speeds up to 240 km/u.

The other main attraction is the G-Force: riders of this attraction go through the red roof of the amusement park up to 62 meter and there undergo the G-forces as experienced in a Ferrari car. There are also race simulators and it is possible to make a virtual tour of the factory in Maranello.

Dinner in the Sky
Space hotel
Dinner in the Sky

Dinner in the Sky, the unique concept by which one can have dinner suspended to a huge crane at 50m altitude introduces its next generation formula. The group Benji Fun, now winches a huge platform with small round tables around the edge in the air.

This set up permits all sorts of activities in the middle form a casino to a French cancan or a salsa demo… the sky is  - literally – the limit!
Space hotel

A Russian company is planning to build the first hotel in space. Energia is partly owned by the Russian State and are looking for investors in a private space station that can hold seven people.

The hotel plans to open their space hotel in 2015. It remains to be seen if they’ll be the first in the race to hotel accommodation in space as the American company Bigelow Aerospace is working on similar plans.
Four Destinations – 1 workshop!

AgendaFour destinations: Ireland, Oman, Valle d’Aosta and Curaçao in partnership with BBT Online want to present four beautiful, but totally different locations for meetings, incentives and events to you.

We kindly invite you to the trendy and original Cook & Book restaurant in Brussels, on November 22nd.

What can you expect? Drinks and good food of course. But also four 40-minutes workshops about each Destination.

If you would like to participate, click here and register quickly. You will receive a confirmation of your registration, shortly after doing so. Note that this event is meant for Incentive Agencies only. We hope to see you on November 22nd!


Online travel examined
NATM-symposium in The Hague

Travel 2010 is the very first 1-day seminar on 'online travel' in Belgium. Different subjects such as user friendliness, online marketing, social media, online hotel reports, etc ensure that no stone remains unturned on the subject.

A group of 10 different speakers from different countries will ensure inspirational listening pleasure. This workshop is meant for travel agents, hotel people, tourist boards, etc.. all professionals who are confronted with online travel in their professional life.

Venue: Van Der Valk Hotel Bruges  Date: Tuesday November 23rd, 2010.

On 25 November 2010 the NATM symposium takes place at the Hilton Hotel Den Haag. Theme of the day is 'the future of business travel'. Trendwatchers Vincent Everts and Richard Lamb give presentations on respectively Travel 2.0 and travelling for business.

AirPlus reviews their annual travel management survey. There will be 5 subjects discussed in break-out sessions: developments in the airline industry, buying & contracts, social media in business travel, end-to-end travel & expense management, and traveling carbon neutral. For more information or registration, go to
A lesson in Belgo-Swiss inspiration
City Marketing

You have to hand it to the Swiss: when they organise an event they really do it professionally, right down to the last detail from attractive invitation to creative follow-up, and all branded clearly in Swiss red.

The Swiss Convention & Incentive Bureau always makes it worthwhile attending events with their unique mix of original venue, excellent business environment, touch of celebrity, good networking around Swiss food & wine… and this time was no exception.

The Switzerland Sustainability Event on 5 October took place at the SAP Lounge, an interesting and accessible venue in Vilvoorde with good parking and a rail station close by.

The event was divided into 2 clear parts. The Swiss are sensible and don’t invite agencies at the same time as corporates & associations. Click here to read more …
City Marketing

The city of Uppsala, Sweden, was host to ECM’s (European Cities Marketing) Autumn meeting. Eighty representatives of Europe’s leading city tourist offices and convention bureaux attended the three day event which addressed the hot topic of city marketing. This included a one day seminar entitled “City Marketing - refreshing the parts that City Tourist Offices & Convention Bureaux cannot reach”.

The seminar - chaired by the former City Marketing Director of Brussels International, Andre Vrydagh -  tapped a variety of expert perspectives – that of the academic and consultant, that of the city marketing agencies themselves, and last but not least that of ECM members as important end-users and beneficiaries of city marketing campaigns and brands.

Click here to read more.

The VAT Package changes within the EU

taxesWith the VAT Package, changes have been made to the rules on the place of supply of services (which determines where services are taxed) and on the refund of VAT to businesses established within the EU (to modernise and simplify the refund procedure). These changes were adopted by the Council of EU Ministers by unanimity in 2008. Most of the changes have had to be transposed into national legislation by the Member States on 1 January 2010.
There are now two general rules relating to the supply of services:

- One rule for services supplied to businesses (B2B) - the services must be taxed at the place of the customer who will have to account for VAT if established in another Member State than that of the supplier.
- Another rule for services supplier to private consumers (B2C) - the services continue to be taxed in the Member State of the supplier.

Click here to read more.
ETOA questions European Visa procedures

ETOAThe visa procedures for visiting Europe are so complicated that the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) estimates they deter more than 450.000 visitors worldwide from visiting our continent.

The report continues by saying that Chinese and Indian tourists are most likely to have communication difficulties during the request.

Mainly the United Kingdom gets a bad mention in the ETOA report as an estimated 58.000 tourists yearly cancel their travel plans to the UK because of the administrative fuss. France is another country made difficult by messy and long administrative procedures; Germany is the best pupil in the class. ETOA estimates the loss in revenue for the European Union at 500 million euro on a yearly basis. More information on
Staying Professional in Virtual Meetings
BBT Online meets charismatic mayor of Quebec

Bruce Taylor was so impressed with his short inspection tour to Quebec in June he decided to go back on holiday with his wife to discover more of Montreal, Quebec City and the big outdoors dressed in the reds, browns & golds of autumn…

mayor Back in Quebec they were received by the Mayor of Quebec, Regis Labeaume, in the impressive reception rooms at City Hall and Bruce Club 100asked him 3 quick questions about the meetings & events industry and tourism.

Click here to read more …

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings have become a staple of business life. Teleconferences and videoconferences offer a relatively inexpensive way to meet with colleagues from around the country or the world, but they also present special challenges.

When you aren’t in the same room with other people, you lose important nonverbal cues that register unease, confusion, agreement or disagreement. That makes it easier to miscommunicate.

Participants in virtual meetings often feel a lowered sense of accountability. In face-to-face meetings people really show up, not just physically but also mentally. They come to the meeting prepared and actively participate. 

Click here to

Michelberger Hotel, intergalactic hotel in... Berlin

The brand new Michelbergerhotel is not for everyone. No extreme luxury or 4-stars, but a budget friendly alternative with many extras (rooms from € 60 per night). The former factory in the Friedrichshain part of Berlin has 119 rooms going from aloft to a group room for persons where owner Tom pretends one can lodge an entire rock band.

Not a silly idea because this hotel is far from being conventional. The walls are covered artfully with cables, mirrors float in space and if you want to check out later than 12 noon, you are asked “to negotiate it further with the receptionist..”. The location is first rate, the beds sublime, showers have a strong water jet, rooms have flat screen televisions and there is free Wifi and of course let not forget the unavoidable 'Biergarten'.

Click here for the mood board of the hotel. Do visit the website, for fun, , it’s too crazy!


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

For the second time we bring you a personal & honest comment on experience in the Meeting and Incentives world. No good one this time unfortunately, but a bad and even ugly.

The Bad …
Yes, business is trickling back and the noises in the industry are generally optimistic. But, since the credit badcrunch, everyone is under more pressure in their jobs and they have to be even more selective about the events they attend and the money they spend, even on important education and networking.

We have just had the case of ESAE (European Society of Association Executives) cancelling its annual conference. Then more recently MPI Belgium bombarded the meetings world with emails for its latest Educational Revue in Antwerp for the 19th of October and, despite the quality of the programme, apparently failed to get a decent audience (under 50 apparently). And we’ve also heard of other associations cancelling local events because of lack of participation.

Surely it’s now time to coordinate meetings & events organised by the industry’s own associations and create new synergies & partnerships. We at BBT Online fully support EMIF’s latest initiative to get all the Presidents around the table to discuss issues like this and raising the profile of the industry.

… and the Ugly
badA short freeloading story reached us from a recent workshop in Latin America. One invited freeloader travelling via Madrid found himself on an overbooked flight and volunteered to be off-loaded for the ‘modest ‘compensation of 600 Euro.

It is said that he not only made a tidy profit, but stayed overnight in a 5-star Madrid hotel and travelled next day upgraded in Business Class to the final destination.

When will organisers learn to evaluate properly the guests they invite, and not take nice websites and answers to questionnaires at face value?

Reactions to
Real Short !!

The 7th ATLAS Business Tourism Conference, takes place in Estoril, Portugal 14-17 November 2010.
Phnom Penh – Cambodia is the venue of the Asean Tourism Forum Travex 2011 which will take place from 15 to 21 January 2011/. For registration as hosted buyer, click here:
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

If you haven't already, do hook up with us if you're on Facebook so you can be kept in the loop of the latest news.
Paul the Octopus whose tell tale tentacles predicted the outcome of the World Cup matches is dead. Paul achieved global fame and recognition in 2010 by accurately predicting the outcome of the 8 World Cup Matches including the final.
The festive season is approaching. For a full listing of Christmas markets, go to
Harpa – Reykjavík Concert Hall and Conference Centre’s announces its schedule  of international conferences through 2015, as well as the first details of Harpa’s series of opening celebrations beginning in May 2011. Its highly-anticipated launch next spring will introduce Harpa as a major conference, business, and tourism hub for the city, providing state-of-the-art facilities for a diverse range of programs and events.
Wimbledon tennis packages available for 2011 at Hallmark Travel. Go to
The new Chinese supertrain attains a top speed of 416,6 km/u. The train will be operational in 2012 between Shanghai and Hangzhou and with its average speed of 350  km/u the train will cut the travelling time between both cities in half, the ticket however will double in price.
At the recently held World Travel Awards for the Europe Region Excel London won the Leading Meetings & Conference Centre Award. For a full list of winners, go to
The underground Gladiator rooms at the Coliseum in Rome will be opened to the public for the very first time in November. The 3rd floor of the Amphitheater with stunning views of Rome will also be open again after a thorough restoration.
The travel blogs and city guides of the Dutch company Spotted by Locals has been voted best travel website by the British newspapers The Observer and The Guardian.
The more than 500 historic monuments in France have been united in 20 historical routes that will help visitors to see the most important monuments of   the country in a logical order.
Photo contest! Send your most beautiful holiday pictures of Curaçao to before end of November and maybe be the winner of a trip for 4 people, flights and rooms at the Chogogo Resort included.

By now over 6 million people have visited the Belgian Pavillion in Shanghai which puts Belgium in 7th position but in 1st position as far as revenue is concerned with an average daily revenue between 100 and 125.000 euro per day: a Belgian Success story!
After 20 years in Denmark, the Toerisme Vlaanderen office for Denmark and Sweden will be closing by end March 2011.
easyFairs strengthens its position in the technology trade fairs in Belgium with the take over of Fairtec.
After Place du Luxembourg, Euro Village, the meeting point of the International Community in Brussels, moves to Spirito Martini.

The winner of BBT Online’s Kempinski competition is Mrs Cindy Vanderschrieck of Coca-cola services NV. Mrs Vanderschriek won a full day seminar arrangement for 10 delegates.
The winner of BBT Online’s Air Baltic competition is Christophe De Stoop of Passaporta. Mr. De Stoop won 2 return tickets to the Baltic States.
The famed New York neighbourhood Harlem is set to get its first major hotel in over 40 years, with Starwood to open a boutique Aloft property in November. The area has been a major tourism destination for years, but has lacked a focal point since the Hotel Theresa closed in 1967.
Vintage Hotel in Antwerp: 3 rooms with a lot of charm and great location. Do not miss it!
The continuous pumping for water by neighbouring 5-star hotels is threatening the temples of Angkor as their foundations are getting undermined.
A recent survey has determined that with an average of € 89 per night Dubai has become the cheapest luxury destination in 2010.
The Loui Lounge Bar at the Conrad Hotel was awarded the “ Villegiature award 2010”  for the “Best Hotel Bar in Europe”.
The fancy restaurant Midi Station (Brussels) is open for business again, only a few months after it was declared bankrupt. Great, after all it’s a very nice place. Too bad only for the creditors (among which BBT Online) who never saw their money for outstanding accounts, under the previous management though.
The Milano Scala Hotel in the centre of Milan is the first climate neutral hotel of the city.
Richard Branson is launching a Virgin Hotel chain; the first hotels will open in North America.

This is a website we like to share with you: Find the best seat before you fly. It tells you where the seats with extra legroom are, due to the position of the bulkhead, the toilets, the emergency exits, et cetera.
As from February Iberia starts regular flights to Fortaleza and Recife in Brazil.
In June of next year Air France starts with two new lines: Lima (Peru) and Orlando (Florida).
Next summer Air France-KLM starts flights to Bata (Guyana), Kigali (Rwanda), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia (Liberia) and Tripoli (Libya). There will also be increased frequencies to Pointe Noire (Congo), Libreville (Gabon), Malabo (Guyana) and Dar Es Salaam and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).
Alitalia introduces new direct flight between Rome and Rio de Janeiro as from next summer.
Next summer British Airways starts daily flights to Buenos Aires.
The American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) wants airlines to put the amount of calories on each dish served on board to make people more aware of what they are eating.
British Airways “Save the Postcard” action ends on November 1. The highest bidder will go home with postcards designed by celebrities such as Manholo Blahnik, Sienna Liller, Diane von Furstenberg, Gordon Ramsey. A survey showed only 10% of holidaymakers still send postcards home, the majority prefer text messages or Facebook.
As from 2012 liquids will be once more admitted in airplane cabins as airport controls will be able to detect explosives more clearly.
November 1, 2011 marks the end for Martinair as far as passenger.

During the ICCA General Assembly, Mr. Arnaldo Nardone has been elected as the new ICCA President for a 2 year term.
Karel Ooms has been appointed Toerisme Vlaanderen Director in London.
Guenola Greck has left Starwood Hotels.
Heidi Smitt is leaving Easyfairs and EMIF and her position has been taken over by Cordula Riedel, formerly Director of the Strasbourg Chamber of Commerce and a former MPI President for France/Switzerland.
Thierry Vermeiren started working as Director Sales & Marketing for the future openings of the 3 upcoming Park Inn hotels in Belux region. (Park Inn Midi (Brussels), Park Inn Leuven, Park Inn Luxembourg City whilst continuing his duties as Director Sales & Marketing for the Radisson Blu EU hotel in Brussels.
Rene Tolenaars, after 6 years at Maasmechelen outlet stores is now looking for a new challenge and can be contacted at
Willem Versteegh leaves TMC to join South-African TO Extraordinary Travel.
Pascal Gulpen was appointed General Manager of Landgoed Altembrouck near Maastricht.
PATA actively seeks a new CEO. The CEO is an officer of the Association and reports to  the PATA Executive Board of Directors, reporting directly through its  elected Chairman. Candidates please submit an introductory letter and CV no later than Wednesday, November 10, 2010 to . Please visit the website  <>  for more details on the  position.
Oneworld has appointed Mairead Ryan to Regional Market Development Manager Europe.

Myriam Winnepennnickx from Switzerland  Convention & Incentive Bureau sent to me your destination report on Ticino. Thank you very much it’s great and perfectly described what I wanted to let you experience.

Alessia Bernasconi
, Product Manager MICE Ticino Turismo

Laughing is good for you! A fun version of flight instructions as seen on Cebu Airlines. But will the passengers, in a case of emergency, remember the right dance moves?. Click here.


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