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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 37th edition.

Join BBT Online to Bangkok


BBT Online is putting a group of 10 Hosted Buyers from Belgium and Holland together to visit the 19th IT&CMA, Asia-Pacific’s premier MICE and Corporate Travel Event, 4 – 6 October 2011 in Bangkok.

IT&CMA offers a complimentary round trip economy ticket plus 5 nights of hotel stay. Behind this link you find the Buyer Hosting Programme Online Application. Deadline 30 April 2011.

Riverside cooking!
Dining in the skies above Brussels

Take a lovingly restored boat anchored in Louvain, take an ultramodern kitchen and cooking space for up to 55 people and that is what “La Coquerie” is all about.

Events, team cookings, cocktails, all food related happenings in a different location yet easily reachable. Prefer to anchor in another port? All is possible, in any case your venue will be unique and original!
Efteling opens magic city Raveleyn

In April of this year, the amusement park De Efteling in Holland opens a new attraction: the magic city of Raveleyn which includes a gigantic open-air arena.

Raveleyn can be used for groups and themed events for up to 500 participants inside, the arena can hold 1200 spectators and will bring a spectacular show. The new venue will also hold a number of meeting

After Paris, the Electrolux Dining in the Sky ‘The Cube’ comes to Brussels from March 25 until July 3. A glass rooftop restaurant will be constructed on top of the Arch of Triumph of the Cinquantenaire offering a unique view over Brussels in a setting that will be more than exclusive!

Up to 18 guests can be present at a time to enjoy first class meals by top chefs such as Bart De Pooter of De Pastorale or Sang Hoon Degeimbre of agendal’Air du Temps.

Of course this goes for a special price: lunch € 150 pp and dinner € 200 pp; it is possible to rent the entire structure privately.

After Brussels the construction travels to Stockholm, Moscow and Zurich.

Reservations via
A selection of new restaurants in Brussels
Bab Dar Bab Dar Bab Dar

Bab Dar –
Jihad Assabi is not unknown in Brussels: after ‘Welcome to Youssef’ and ‘Kif Kif’, he now launches a new concept with Bab Dar. Although still Moroccan cuisine, Bab Dar now tends to go more to a gastronomy level in a surprising environment that needs to be seen. Lunch at 15€ for 3 course, 4 course menu at 40€.

Park Side –
With a magnificent view of the arches of the Cinquantenaire this trendy Brasserie is perfect for the Eurocrat lunch crowd or the diners looking for a first class welcome and excellent brasserie menu by a young but very driven chef, who only uses the best ingredients. Seating for 200 people, private room for 20 people or seminar /banquet  room for private get-togethers or dinner parties up to 50 people. And as soon as the sun is warm enough they add on a huge terrace with over 100 seats!

…no to be confused with Parc Avenue –
Literally around the corner, on Avenue d’Auderghem corner avenue des Nerviens, is the recently opened Parc Avenue.. the park must have inspired!....A chef who did his apprenticeships in major restaurants in France and Belgium, Parc Avenue has very quickly made its reputation as a great “business lunch” place. Great dishes without too many superfluous details, a real value for money place in a decor that puts a New York brasserie in mind. Friendly welcome, if only it were not so difficult to park in that area!
When Yves Mattagne opens a new restaurant, you may rest assured that it is something special! This time one gets a choice between a Mattagne-style brasserie on the ground floor and an Asian Fusion cuisine restaurant on the first floor. This is definitely a case of East meets West, in a prestigious location – Avenue de Tervuren – pity about the slightly overdone interior design. As usual, the cuisine is delivered with the signature panache of the chef.


Kokuban –
In the Japanese cuisine there is more than raw fish and sushi, noodles take a very important place and noodles are the main stay at Kokuban. Major advantage here is that it has not been overrun by the Brussels Japanese community and therefore one can still get a table without having to wait too long! Interesting and contemporary decor, warm colors, intimate lighting..!

Via Lamanna –
1400 m²(!) on Avenue Louise dedicated to Italian gastronomy! The aim of this temple of Italian food is to share their love of all things good and Italian with the Brussels public! There is an Aperitif Bar where wines and other products can be tasted, there is a store, a traiteur, a gastronomic restaurant & business area. It’s a total Italian happening at this address.

Charles De Gaulle Airport
Round Table discussion
Meetings matter for Belgium
By Hugo Slimbrouck

Many Belgian travellers use Charles de Gaulle Airport for their travels and therefore a team came to Brussels on the 1st of March for the day to talk and listen to representatives of the business travel and incentive travel world.

The airport is investing time and money to make the second European airport into an airport for the future. A major point of contention raised by the Belgian professionals was the luggage handling. CdG had a good answer ready: the Conciergerie, a ‘butler service’ can be called in to solve all challenges of international travellers in a personalized way. A real VIP feel which can of course also be applied to groups.

One thing was clear; the link between the TGV/SNCF and the Airport will need much more talk and negotiation to bring it up to the level expected for Belgian (and other) international travellers.

Hugo SlimbrouckBelgium is world champion!  Not only because we have Kim, Eddy, Jacques, Father Damian and JCVD, but now we have also come in the news as the champions of political meetings.  Why is it, I ask myself for the umpteenth time that Belgium can be so great in small things but not great in one of the most important industries in the world? Let me explain…

Recently a report was presented in Washington about the importance of the meetings industry in the United States of America.  The study, carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers and an alliance of 14 meetings industry associations came to the conclusion that the U.S. meetings industry contributed $907 billion to the U.S. economy, generating 6.3 million jobs.

Click here to read more.
4 Destinations, 1 Venue, must be another BBT Online Workshop!


After the first successful event at Cook and Book at the end of 2010, BBT Online chose for Midi Station as the venue for its next Workshop on February 21st. A different partner selection of course as well, this time participants could sail away on the super yachts of du Ponant, discover wonderful Gelderland or green Wallonia and dream away with Cox & Kings, the specialists for India.

The format is getting in its stride: a half hour presentation, followed by a good 10 à 15 minutes of central networking which was perfectly possible at Midi Station, space galore! The central dining area was used for the informal get together, the three individually decorated and unusual meeting rooms were ideal for the individual presentations. The champagne flowed; even better, we were treated to a champagne presentation and tasting.

All participants had plenty of time between presentations to talk to all representatives present and also to network amongst themselves. At the end of the presentation rounds more food & drinks and a DJ who tried to entice people on the dance floor….but we were talking too much!

Besides discovering new things about far away and close by destinations, the evening showed a group of highly professional and capable travel specialists looking with a critical eye at the presentations. The lesson learned for all: keept it short, lively and to the point, these are well-informed specialists who do not accept anything less than a professional presentation geared at their business!

Next edition: June 20, save the date!!


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

Bad: What is happening to Site and MPI Belgium?
On February 22, BBT Online attended this year’s first Site Belgium event. The program looked promising: an afternoon spent discovering the city of Antwerp. The event started with a delicious lunch in Huis de Colvenier. Well known motivational speaker Harry Van Helst spoke to us during the lunch. The presentation was interactive and vivid. For once the speaker was actually interesting and passionate, which was a welcome variation considering some dull and tedious lectures we attended in the past. A fine start it was.

After the presentation it was time for a guided tour through the Diamond City. Antwerp is far from in short supply when it comes to modern, classic and beautiful venues. Because of its long and rich history, its beautiful old city center and its excellent location on the Scheldt river, it’s a pocked-sized metropolis.  We visited four venues on foot. All surprisingly close to each other.

So far, so good. But the question is: why did we file this report under ‘bad’? Click here to read more.

Site Site Site

The Ugly: Q-Park
Last week we parked our car in the Q car park underneath Midi Station. First of all, it is without doubt the badmost expensive car park in the whole of Belgium. They advertise their so-called security conscious status, security doors that only let cars through… what a joke!

Not only are there continuous works of some sort in that car park so you drive around forever trying to figure out how to get a space or how to get out. But it’s the break-ins that are the real plague. On the evening of the BBT Online Workshop a car of the attendees had been burglarized. Listening to the police, it is not an exception… So, what’s the use of the security guards with dogs (never seen one we must say), the cameras everywhere …

So, Q-Park what will you do about it? Stop saying you’re not responsible (on all the tickets!) and be pro-active and secure the place, as such today!

Be local international, act global
Checking-in virtually
Be local

Be local international, act global. This is the spirit of HelmsBriscoe, the world’s most popular venue finding company which celebrates its 20th birthday in 2012. They operate a worldwide network with 1,200 individual associates in over 40 countries and their business is growing exponentially.

At the end of February they brought together their Belgian Associates with Brussels hoteliers to update them on HelmsBriscoe and remind them of the international importance of the company in terms of the meetings business. It was also an opportunity to present the new team.
Just to illustrate the speed of growth… two years ago there was just one Associate in Belgium.
Today there are 6.  They are certainly an international group, but they have also turned into locals. Click here to read more.

1 Check in to your hotel. 2 Find interesting hotel guests. 3 Setup face-to-face meetings. 4 Expand your professional networking.
Twitter and Facebook started promoting this application last year. is a similar site, but is specifically meant for hotel guests.  It’s a business-oriented social network platform, used by traveling individuals to set up face-to-face meetings around the world.

It gives business travelers the possibility to connect with each other and create new business opportunities. By using this platform, the site claims that you could find hotel guests with information or skills you might need, which would expand your business network.
Click here
to read more.
Real Short !!

March 14th, Brussels Meeting Awards,182
Brussels, March, 15 – 16, EMIF.
March 18th: Brussels Meeting week presents Brussels Job day!
19-20 March: B & B expo at Tour & Taxis, with a lot of new destinations in the sun!
Come as a VIP to PromZ Event, 29 – 31 March, in Jaarbeurs Utrecht, Holland
Fair Entrepreneurship – 30 and 31th of March – Tour and Taxis, Brussels.
Meeting Luxury in Lugano, Switzerland March 31st – April 2, 2011 for the latest trends in luxury travel.
April 5th: workshop by Nordrhine-Westphalia/Rhineland-Pfalz at Husa President Park Hotel Brussels.
April 11th, MPI NL Conference 2011.
Register now for the Arabian Travel Market 2-5 May – Dubai.
International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Asia: 13-16 June 2011: Shanghai, China : the world of luxury travel comes to Shanghai!
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.


If you have never done this before, treat yourself to ST Patrick’s Day in Ireland, you’ll never forget it, it’s real fun! March 17th and not just in Dublin but in the whole of Ireland.
Original for your next event: magic bubbles, transparent 4 to 6 m² bubbles that can be placed anywhere!
In Europe, Paris overtakes London as most popular business travel destination. New York remains world number one!
The Visitors Centre St. Joseph at the Abbey of Maredsous has been given a thorough facelift and visitors are now invited to enjoy the hospitality and the traditions of the Abbey monks.
This new digital brochure presents you with all you need to know about 30 city cards from 20 countries.
Consolidating its grip on the tablet computer market, Apple has launched its latest machine: iPad2. Thinner, lighter and faster than the original version, the iPad 2 features cameras for photography, movie-making or video chat. iPad 2 will hit the stores on March 26.
In the marvelous Solvay Library, the Monaco Tourism and Convention Authority held on the 2nd of March a ‘Destination Monaco’-workshop for corporate and association MICE decision makers. This year, Prince Albert’s marriage will attract a lot of attention to the mini-state. Most hotels are making big renovation efforts. Prices will not be higher than last summer though.

The Accor group confirms the sale of the Pullman Brussels Airport Hotel to Golden Tulip.
Rezidor opened the 142 room Park Inn Midi at the Brussels Midi Station on March 1.


KLM increases its capacity to the Caribbean as from coming winter with 2.600 extra seats weekly.
German Airline industry has calculated that the new taxes for travel by air as introduced by the German authorities on January 1, will cost them 5 million passengers.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol counted a total of 45,2 million passengers in 2010, an increase with 3,8% versus 2009.
In 2014, IATA predicts a total worldwide of 3.3 billion  airline passengers or an increase of 800 million passengers, mainly from China and other Asian countries.
Alitalia recently  officially inaugurated their new offices situated on the 17th floor of the Louise Tower in Brussels, co-locating with the Regional Office of Air France KLM and Delta Air Lines in Belgium and Luxembourg. The four leading airlines will reinforce their presence on the local markets to the benefit of their customers.
This summer season Brussels Airlines adds 3 new destinations and 709.000 additional seats to its European network. Apart from the new scheduled services to Marrakech, Agadir and Lamezia Terme, Brussels Airlines increases frequencies and /or seat capacity to numerous European destinations (Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark,  Israel, ...).
The current Middle-Eastern troubles made the oil price rise to a staggering $ 102 per barrel. This puts the airline industry under pressure. This year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted a collective profit of 9.1 billion dollar, but this was based on an oil price of $ 84. Every time the oil price inflates with one dollar, airline costs rise with 1.6 billion. The Libyan unrest could lead to major losses for the industry.

Gaston Gellens, is the new General Manager of the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Brussels.
Steven De Bisschop is the new country manager Belux Operation & Sales Air Canada.
Jeroen van der Velde (ex-Carlson Wagonlit Travel) has started up a recruitment office, Freshfield Recruitment, specialized in tourism.
After 35 years Anita Van Nerom retires this month from the German Tourism Office, we wish her a happy retirement. Her successor will be announced shortly.
The MCI Brussels office is looking for a Senior Event Manager. Contact: Isabelle Deniaud,
Vincent C van Wulfen is looking for a representative in Brussels for 1 or 2 days per week to get in touch with locale Associations.
Jeff Van Bever, ex Club Med, became a partner of Expense Reduction Analysts. This organization helps companies in reducing their non-strategic expenses. Brussels Airlines for example, reduced its expenses by a staggering 17% without any visible loss of quality. Jeff Van Bever can be contacted at

Laughing is good for you! Sometimes it's of vital importance not to bet on the wrong horse! Click here.


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