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meetinireland meetopolis

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 42nd edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Workshop Star Alliance
Iceland fights back!
Star Alliance

On Tuesday October 4th Star Alliance organises the Meeting’s Plus Workshop for professional planners in the presence of the account managers of the member airlines.

The workshop and networking dinner will take place at the BHouse in Zaventem.

Save the date, official invitations will follow shortly!

The news from that remote country has not been good the last couple of years and yet, Iceland is a land of fighters, of incredible nature and of friendly welcomes.

Jonathan Ramael, observed first hand the official opening of a spanking new, state-of-the-art Harpa Concert Hall & Conference Center, the recipient of a World Architecture Award! Click here to read more…..
Wish you were here: Isle of Jura

This time we take you to the Isle of Jura, of the Scottish Coast. A secluded island, little known to the great public, so secluded that Georges Orwell ‘exiled’ himself here for nearly 2 years to write his masterpiece ‘1984’.

On an island just 7 miles wide and 30 miles long, there is but one road, one hotel and one distillery. And then there is the Lodge: a home from home for all Diurachs, (name of the Island inhabitants).

The lodge is available for private rental at certain times of the year at the cost of £2,500 per night for a minimum of three nights. Trust us, it’s worth every penny. Shooting, hunting, fishing, fell walking, lobster eating, sailing and whisky drinking can all be organised upon request.

Jura has a yearly whisky festival, regatta, and other sports activities… for such a small place there is remarkably lots to do, unusual but worth travelling to. Definitely a venue your guests will remember! -


ligne TAM airlines

Cutting in investments in Meeting and Events travel, what next…?

It was recently revealed that the Dutch will be cutting their investment in Holland as a destination for Tourism and Business by 65% in the coming 4 years. Reason enough for some of the key players in the industry to ring the alarm bell.

coinsThe possible consequences of these cuts are very important and could result in the loss of 1.9 million travellers to the country representing +/- 770 million euro and more than 14.000 jobs. The figures speak for themselves and are very worrying indeed, especially as Holland is not the only country starting to save on the still not yet fully appreciated industry in all its forms.

Go no further than Belgium where Toerisme Vlaanderen is now actually joining forces with the Dutch in foreign countries, creating even more confusion about Belgium/Flanders as a destination. By associating the region Flanders with the country Holland they have basically achieved to water down the image of Flanders – region of Belgium – even more. They may save a bit on costs, but they are definitely losing out big time on image and recognition…Talk about water down the drain…

Recently the Brussels Hotel Association yet again cried out for more recognition. The members (85% of all Brussels Hotels) represent more than 15.000 rooms and more than 12.500 jobs in the Belgian Capital alone and therefore are the biggest employer of the capital.. And yet the industry is not given its rightful place and recognition.

Worldwide Meetings and Incentives are a major employer and can be the origin of millions of euros/dollars/yen… for the local economy. Rather than continuing to see our industry as a second rate player, it is time governments everywhere start respecting this major player. Don’t hesitate to send us your reaction,
Join BBT Online on a educational trip to Cuba


Glenaki and BBT Online invite eight Belgian Incentive Houses to a famtrip to Cuba.

When? Brussels – Havana, 26/09/2011, return Varadero (01/10) – Brussels, 02/10/2011
Participation Fee, Price: 550€ each person (incl fuel + taxes) for the flights. Hotels will be in Havana, Cayo Santa Maria and Varadero (all 5-star hotels)
If you feel like joining our group, or want to receive more information (without any obligation) about the program, send an email to

Invitation strictly valid for Incentive Houses. Inscriptions before 15th of July.
BBT Online’s 3rd 4 destinations Workshop: a mix of originality, fun and tradition

Guests at our 4-destinations workshops – this was the 3rd edition – know by now that with BBT Online things are always a bit different, and that is exactly what we aim for. Yes, indeed, we like to change and certainly don’t just copy and paste previous edition.

4 destination 4 destination

This time the choice of the 1st venue which was certainly far from being traditional – and maybe not to everybody’s taste. The workshop took place at the Hub, in the centre of Brussels. (  They describe themselves as “A co-working members space for people acting to create a better world” and it provides sustainably designed co-working spaces and events focused on social innovation.

4 destination 4 destination

The venue provided a different and original background for the presentations of Croatia, Colombia, Sun International and Worldhotels. We travelled around the world, dreamed away on Croatia’s blue sea, smelled the Colombian coffee, enjoyed the Sun International exceptional destinations and were made totally welcome in the excellent Worldhotels.

4 destination 4 destination

What more did we want… well, after the educational part, time for some entertainment. Two party busses took us on to a world of traditional luxury, the 5-star Stanhope Hotel ( where we were served an excellent meal in lovely venue that is their Brighton Restaurant.

All in all, a very enjoyable evening not only for the presentations, but also for the excellent networking opportunities offered by this formula!

BBT Online’s next 4 Destinations Workshop is planned for the 5th of September, starting at 18hrs.

Destinations/partners: Toerisme Vlaanderen (Bruges), Morocco, Denmark/Greenland and Cuba.
Venue: Castle Gravenhof in Dworp, near Brussels

Get your invitation for yet another unusual evening of learning and new experiences, click here to register now

(For PCO’s, Incentive Houses and Event Agents only)
Workshop: Believe in Thailand
The importance of food in Tourism

A group of Thai suppliers, under the auspices of the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau came to Brussels back in May; they welcomed a group of Incentive Planners in the brand new Thai Restaurant Chao Praya on Av. Louise.

“Thailand provides inspiration for your business success” was the theme of the evening and the thailandmany venues presents did their best to not only provide new and exciting ideas, but also to make us see Thailand as a perfect destination for a successful motivational trip.

After a delicious meal and for those who wanted a relaxing massage, BBT Online invited all attendees for a drink to the nearby trendy Via LaManna Bar where the networking was continued.

Click here to see all the pictures of the workshop.

A concept that does certainly not need any further explanation to Belgian travellers who value their food so much it’s the first criteria used to value a trip. At the Annual Conference of ECM (European Cities Marketing) the theme was food as a tourist attraction and the extent to which it can act as a competitive advantage in the marketing of a city.

A shining example was put forward by the Executive Director of the World’s best restaurant Noma in Copenhagen who can ‘claim’ they single handedly changed the perception of Danish food in the world and how food and in this case Noma became an integral part of city marketing strategies and initiatives.
The UIA’s Annual International Meetings Statistics Report for 2010

For the past 62 years, the Union of International Associations has undertaken, for the benefit of its members, statistical studies on the preceding year’s international meetings. As in previous years, the report is also available for sale to the public following a period of three months’ exclusive use by UIA Associate Members. The full report will be available from September 15th 2011.

A few insights:
Top International Meeting countries:
USA, Japan, Singapore
Top international Meeting Cities:
Singapore, Brussels, Paris
Just opened

June 24 in Singapore, opened a new wonder of the world. "Sky Park" Marina Bay Sands is located on the 200-meter height on the three skyscrapers, as if on three pillars.
Here is the most expensive in the world of casinos, bars, restaurants, the largest outdoor swimming pool, 150 meters long and even the Museum of Modern Art.

Sky park Sky park
Sky park Sky park
Real Short !!

October 4th, Star Alliance workshop. Bhouse, Zaventem. Info:
Monday 5th of September. BBT Online’s 4th four-destinations workshop. Venue Kasteel Gravenhof.
On September 8, Site Belgium goes to Francorchamps.
Meetopolis, The 1st education & inspiration Meeting & Events planners Forum at Square. 29th of September.
Euro 2012 is taking place from 08.06.2012 till 01.07.2012 in Poland and Ukraine, remind you that we are now les than 1 year away from kick off!
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Thalys launches a first in train transport: Mobile Ticketing. One more step in the dematerialisation of tickets! Get the details of your ticket on your Smartphone!
The Belgian Coast is ready with an extra special venue for unusual parties: The Tram of Time on the longest single track in the world: from Knokke to De Panne, a unique transportation solution with entertainment and refreshments aboard!
Until end August the famous leaning tower of Pisa will also be open for visits at night!
Swantegy has fully integrated the business world with the meetings & events sector. To support this, Swantegy  launched a new corporate website
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.
BBT Online moved offices. Our new address is Rue de Toulouse 49, 1040 Brussels. From now on you can find us in the area with the biggest decision power of Europe, we’re literally one street away from the European Parliament. We’re surrounded by people in costumes, ties (even when it’s over 30 degrees) and thank God, Irish pubs. Feel free to come for a visit.

A study by proves that 50% of hotel guests watch TV as a remedy against insomnia, 30% reads a book, 15% takes an alcoholic drink of the mini-bar, and the rest … Yes, your guess is right the one.
The long awaited Crowne Plaza Liege has finally opened its doors in June. An impressive achievement, great meeting facilities, the only 5-star hotel of the province!
Snoring partners have ruined many a trip and even relationships. Crowne Plaza has created a no-snoring zone. Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport has the first no-snore zone: with the help of some technology and some basic remedies, your night rest will be sacred – contact them for a try-out!
The famous and trendy ‘Terrasse d’ l’Hippodrome’ at Boitsfort has opened its doors again on June 10th and can be enjoyed until July 21st.
VATEL, the International School Hotel & Tourism Management has signed an exclusive collaboration contract with Pandox Hotels in Brussels.
RIU recently opened a new hotel, the Riu Plaza in Guadalajara, Mexico. It is the first RIU hotel in a city in Mexico and has 16 event rooms catering to up to 1.700 delegates.

As of November 17th Thai Airlines resumes direct flights between Brussels and Bangkok 3 times per week (Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday) with a B777-200ER (30 business class and 262 economy class seats).
Air Canada recently celebrated the first anniversary of its Brussels/Montreal-Toronto flight.
Malaysia Airlines will join the OneWorld Alliance shortly.
Charles de Gaulle introduces the new service “La Conciergerie” for all passengers wanting assistance: pampering from leaving home till you’re on the plane!
As from September 2011 Brussels Airlines will fly twice a week (Wednesday & Sunday) to Bamako – Mali.
Qatar Airways launches this month a third flight destination in Iran from Paris: Shiraz in the south of the country.
British Airways launched the first direct European flight to San Diego, USA on June 1st, 2011
London Heathrow has opened the newest part of Terminal 5: T5 C and offers better facilities to all BA passengers.

Incentive House Max (Pascale Godijns & Tina Joris) & Event Company Vertigo (Pierre Cuvelier & Philippe Mottart) have joined forces since June 21st of this year!
Philippe Claeyssens left Mindstream per July 1st and started up his own company ‘Meet U there’. He can be reached on +32 475 940 966.
Heinz Jennewein takes over from Peter Buis as Senior Vice-President Southwest Division-EMEA at BCD Travel.
Rik Gerits joined BTS Travel Brussels from Incentive Partners as from June 1st.

Laughing is good for you! In this cool commercial starring Playboy’s Hugh Hefner, we learn that even a harem full of beautiful women and all the wealth in the world means nothing compared to ... Click here.


Karin de Graauw – Editor-in-chief BBT Online
Rue de Toulouse 49 – 1040 Brussels – Belgium
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