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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 44th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

The winter starts early this year
Abito releases a quality label

Be the first one on the slopes this winter! On October 1 – surprisingly early – the Grande Motte glacier in the French Alps opens its snowy doors to the public!
Enjoy the first fresh snow of the season on more than 20 km of available ski runs.

The season in Tignes-Val d’Isere starts on November 26 and ends on May 8.

Tignes is a star among ski resorts, with 300 km of Mice Agendaslopes varying in height from around 1.550 to 3.450m.

Slide your way to to take advantage of some of the opening weekend’s lucrative deals.


ABITO, the Belgian Association of DMC’s, approved a Quality Label that will be adhered to by each member. This label sets ABITO members apart from non-licensed agencies and guarantees higher quality and added value to prospective customers. A copy of the Quality Label can be downloaded from the ABITO website (

ABITO’s focus stays the same: putting the job of a DMC in the spotlights, getting recognized by all authorities and keeping an eye on “non honesty competition”.

The incoming board consits of: (from left to right)
Dirk Bracaval of @dmire – president
Chantal Quirijnen of De Boeck Incoming (vice president)
Michel Deswaene of Focus Flanders (vice president)
Aboard the Star Clipper: The Gods were with us - Destination Report

star clipper

BBT Online invited 8 Belgian Incentive houses to test the services of the beautiful Star Clipper cruise hugoship for the incentive market. This journey on this magnificent tall sailing ship brought us to the shores of (among others) Athens, Bodrum, Rhodes and Santorini.

But the best part during the trip, was the ship itself. Hugo Slimbrouck, Director of Global Sales & Stategies Partnerships at Ovation Global DMC who was one of the participants wrote for BBT Online a lively and well-written destination report.

Enjoy the read about a journey of a lifetime!

star clipper

ligne TAM airlines

Tickets, Technology and Service
antipodes logo

Antipodes Voyages is an independent airline ticket wholesale company located in Brussels. They supply tickets from more than 170 airlines to travel agencies, tour operators and internet portals at the best prices.

A full range of travel industry services is offered – for travel agencies or MICE corporates to the collection of fare data (including groups) for airlines. Please find out more about their preferred partners Qantas Airways, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and others.

For any group request, Please email

Advertisement feature
Windsor goes crazy
Women-Friendly hotels
crazy horse

The Royal Windsor Hotel Grand Place in Brussels surprises its guests with a “crazy” but irresistibly sexy offer! On October 7 and 8, the world famous cabaret company Crazy Horse is performing in the Madeleine Hall right across the hotel.

Two formulas are available to combine a ticket for the show with a luxurious stay in the hotel. For more info, check or contact
TukTuks in Maatricht
tuk tuk

The Townhouse in Maastricht, a design hotel part of the La Bergere Group, now rents green rides in Holland’s South-Limburg. In cooperation with Eco Fun Tours, they opened The Netherlands’ first rent and selling point of electrical buggies and Tuktuks.

These vehicles are safe as well as fun, and provide your customers with a sustainable message.

More and more women are traveling solo. They have different requirements than the average man and benefit from safety, design and comfort. compiled a list of women-friendly hotels.

  • Bella Sky Comwell, Copenhagen: This hotel has a secured woman-only floor. Closets are equipped with hangers for dresses and skirts and the bathroom holds disposable razors and extra large towels.
  • The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi: This venue has special rooms for women. The security in these Aura Rooms is raised and guests are served exclusively by female staff.
  • W Hotel, New York: Its boutique shop is filled with high-end fashion, the bathroom’s "emergency kits" include lip gloss, eye shadow and perfume and SUVs with personal drivers are available at the reception.
  • Luthan Riyadh Hotel & Spa, Saudi Arabia: This hotel goes even further and welcomes only female guests, served by an all female staff. It might be still a man’s world, but certainly not in here.
BBT Online’s 4-destination workshop

Castle Gravenhof proved to be the perfect setting for another successful BBT Online event. A lot of our industry friends showed up for four interesting workshops on Bruges, Cuba, Denmark/Faroe Islands/Greenland and Morocco, and for a pleasant and entertaining evening.

4 destination

We had invited our guests a bit earlier to race our Vespas through the countryside or to relax themselves by attending a company yoga session. BBT Online would like to thank every attendant for bbt favoritecoming, and would like to invite all Belgian and Dutch Incentive Agents to our next Four Destinations Workshop on November 21, taking place in Den Breckpot, Mechelen with workshops on Canada, India, Italy and Thailand.

We gladly share some comments of the participants with you regarding our last event.
Annemie De Rooy, Managing Partner at Mind & Motion: “The organization was perfect,  warm welcome, enthusiastic suppliers. Interesting guests, impressive venue and cozy ambiance, we learned a lot while enjoying a relaxing evening!”
Sylvie Herman, Conference Manager at Mindstream: “I would like to thank you for this very interesting and unforgettable evening. Congratulations for the organization”.

And from the suppliers side:
Bent Hadler, CEO Hadler DMC: “I would like to compliment BBT Online on a job well done: very professional and smooth – thank you.”
Rita Touzani, Managing Director Global Event Morocco: “I would like to thank you for the perfect organization of your workshop. We will gladly join the same winning team on a future event.”

4 Destination

Site Belgium races in Francorchamps

ElieEarly September is usually when Site Belgium organizes its annual summer activity. This year, the venues of choice were the Spa-Francorchamps race track and its Hotel de la Source.
It proved to be an interesting event, but moreover it was a day filled with speed, smoking tires, racing and adrenaline! Each participant could take a seat next to professional race driver Jose Close, for some laps around the world’s most famous track.

You can find Ellie Lores-Blanes’, GM of Master Events, interesting report behind the link.

Francorchamps Francorchamps
Francorchamps Francorchamps
Optional paid catering in Economy Class
A clean water dream

After a trial period of nearly a year, KLM decided to offer optional catering to economy class passengers on intercontinental flights. Choices are: vegetarian, rice table, Italian and Japanese meals.

Prices range from € 12 to € 15. Director Harm Kreulen says this change responds to the client’s desire of tuning a flight to his personal needs. You can still choose for the standard dish, which is included in the price of the ticket. Meals can be pre-ordered as soon as 90 days before the flight.


Clean Water is a non-profit organization with a dream: to build the longest water pipe in the world and to provide clean drinking water everywhere.

By designing a sustainable PBA-free water bottle, modeled like the different segments of a water pipeline, they want to encourage to drink tap water and to reduce the usage of plastic bottles. Active work is done to install specially designed water taps in public areas, made for the JTP bottles. Donations collected by selling the water bottles and tap water points will be used to support water projects in third world countries.
Real Short !!

October 2011 – January 2012, Brussels: ‘The Other Brazil’. Maryangela Gusmao, owner of the restaurants La Cantina, L’Autre Cantina and the Muséé Imaginaire, gives her personal vision on her motherland Brazil via a multitude of cultural and gastronomic activities for all ages. More info via
The Belgian Coast or the Ardennes? Workshop on October 28. Hotel du Grand Sablon in Brussels. Inscriptions, (FR), and (NL).
November 21. BBT Online’s Fifth 4-destinations workshop. Where? Den Breckpot in Mechelen.
December 5, Cannes, France: ILTM Ultatravel Forum. An event expecting more than 1.000 guests, addressing the trends, ideas, insights and innovations currently driving the luxury travel market share. More info on

64% of Belgian surfers uses social network sites. Facebook is the most popular with 59% (4.8 million) users while 12% of Belgian surfers uses LinkedIn and Netlog. Twitter takes 4th place with a penetration of 7% among the Belgian internet crowd. Belgium has a slightly lower social network use than the average European (73%).
The University of Leuven, Leuven Tourism and Tourism Vlaams-Brabant founded ‘Meeting Leuven’: an office window to support the meeting sector. The goal is creating a mutual contact point to help the industry with professional advice and to bring supply and demand together. More info via
Site Global launched its own app, giving its members easy access to Site services on their smartphone. This makes keeping up with industry news and upcoming events much easier. The app can be downloaded via iTunes.
Oman’s brand new Royal Opera House Muscat opens in October 2011. From October 12 until December 31 the inauguration will be celebrated with a wide variety of unprecedented artistic performances. More info on
Thomas Cook Netherlands is selling its travel agencies. The German chain RTK takes over its 100 agencies for an undisclosed amount. Thomas Cook Netherlands wants to concentrate fully on the tour operating business.
Pedro Novais has resigned as minister of tourism in Brazil following a string of corruption allegations. The news follows the recent arrest of 30 tourism officials and business leaders – including deputy tourism minister Frederico Silva da Costa.
The TomTom iPhone app is now available in Belgium. It was first released in Holland, where it was downloaded more than 75.000 times. The app is also available in Denmark, Portugal and Germany.
A recent study by BCD Travel showed that 17.8% of business travelers has no idea whether his or her company has a travel policy. 42.3% of respondents think their company has none. 20.3% acknowledge the travel policy but are annoyed with certain aspects of it.
The Jordan Tourism Board kicks off its new treasure hunt campaign. A new game (and website) full of tips and experiences about Jordan is the focus of it all. With the start of this campaign Jordan is looking forward to 2012: the 200th celebration of the rediscovery of the pink city of Petra.
Compared to last year, Egypt welcomed 2.2 million (or 35,4%) less tourists in the second quarter of 2011. The first quarter was even worse, with 45.7% less tourists.

Intercontinental Hotel Group shares their ten favorite meeting and presentation apps with us. More info behind the link. Beware: the text is in Dutch.
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts launches its newest iPad application: the InterContinental Kitchen Cookbook, the first food and beverage app of an international hotel chain. It allows hotel guests to freely download 32 InterContinental recipes. This handy guide will allow you to prepare top dishes in your own kitchen.
Hotel J Stockholm opens a brand new extension this month, housing 113 new rooms and a conference hall for up to 160 people. The exterior stands in perfect harmony with the existing hotel, a brick building from 1912. Guestrooms combine Scandinavian simplicity with nautical design.
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam was chosen as Amsterdam’s best hotel by the visitors of, after a close competition with Banks Mansion.
At the foot of the Pyrenees, in the picturesque medieval French town of Mirepoix, lies the historical Mansion Malroc de Lafage, better known as the 4-star Relais Royal Hotel. A wonderful venue with nine exceptional and individually restyled rooms.
The Crown Plaza Copenhagen Towers Hotel won the prestigious Skal International EcoTourism Award. Its huge integrated solar panels and its climate system regulated by the temperature of the ground water save approximately 1.4 ton of CO2 each year, making it the world’s greenest hotel.

British Airways  launched a new Facebook application called Perfect Days, which allows passengers to easily obtain information about their destination. Another feature is that BA's cabin crew is now equipped with an iPad, in order to improve service and to optimize the flight experience.
Brussels Airlines now offers two direct flights per week to Bamako (Mali).
KLM introduces its 71st intercontinental destination: Luanda (Angola). It’s KLM’s fifth new long distance connection this year, after Rio, Buenos Aires, Havana and Punta Cana. As of November 14, two flights a week will leave for Angola.

On July 1, Kathleen Bertier handed over the Presidency of the Belgium MPI Chapter to Cordula Riedel.
Borealis Incentives Belgium strengthened its team by signing Jean-Pierre Cornelis and Bob Moris. With this operation they have now gathered more than 50 years of experience in the agency.
The Belgian travel industry lost a true monument this month. On September 19, Gerard Brackx died at the age of 80, surrounded by his close relatives. He is considered to be one of the greatest pioneers of the Belgian travel agency and tourism sector.
Hotel Duo Paris has proudly appointed Yannick Busaan as their new General Manager.
Karel Ooms is looking for job opportunities or assignments for his consulting bureau Strategies4tourism / Strategies4meetings. He has 30 years of experience in the industry. Contact him on
Steven De Ville, Project Manager at De Buck Incentives, leaves the company after six years. He starts a new chapter of his career at the incentive department of AG Insurance.

BBT Online’s Club 100 is the only MICE association in the Benelux where the number of planners is much higher than the number of suppliers. Just to give a figure: the club include 41 Belgian Incentive Agencies.

This month, we welcome the following new people:
Christophe Van Campenhout, Managing Director ACT Wise
Veerle Goddeeris, Managing Director EventIdee
Michel Paquet, Commercial Officer Hotel Verviers

If you’re interested in joining yourself, don’t hesitate any longer. You will find the conditions and the existing members behind this link. Membership is linked to the person, not the company. More info on

Laughing is good for you! As you can see in this funny commercial, don’t judge too quick. Click here.


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