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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 45th edition. All of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Learn all about Europe
2012 predictions for Business Travel

The Parlamentarium, the European Parliaments official visitors’ centre, has opened its doors this October in Brussels. It is the largest parliamentary visitors’ centre in Europe and the first to operate in 23 languages.

It gives a unique insight in the institutions of the EU, particularly the Parliament. You can see how the union of 27 states has enriched Brussels life.


The Advito Industry Forecast 2012 predicts an increase in business travel and as a direct result an increase in the cost of business travel.

Airline travel cost is predicted to increase between 3 and 5 %, a direct result of the consolidation of airline companies and the increased demand for business travel.

Hotel rates are expected to increase with 2 to 6% but in larger important cities such as New York this can be much higher. Meetings are on the increase, price increases are a direct result.

Train travel is increasing in popularity in Europe, a agendatrend continuing in 2012 and good for an estimated 5% rate increase. London and the 2012 Olympics make that the rates in this city have gone skyhigh. There is also increased pressure on hotels everywhere to make Wifi available for free to travelers.
Want to buy a boat?

The “Island Yacht” is the ultimate in recreation: a yacht decorated as a private island in the Pacific… how decadent can you get? The design is inspired by tropical islands, with huts, a pool and to top of that, a whole volcano that is sure not to erupt.

Since this is a yacht, it comes packed with special VIP rooms, arcades, gym, lounges, spas and even a helipad. It is for yachts like this that the term dreamboat was invented!

boat boat
boat boat
EMIF is no more! So what now …?

The decision has been made; Artexis has decided not to organize the EMIF fair anymore.
The Promo Factory will now be integrated in a larger concept “Business & Meeting solutions” which will emiftake place in Brussels Expo on March 21 & 22- 2012… maybe not exactly what the MICE community is looking for.
BTExpo is also jumping on the MICE bandwagon, but not with too much success until now. What we do need is a proper, dedicated trade fair for the professionals, the MICE professionals, with all due respect to our friends the travel agents.

EMIF, we have all loved to hate it. Regardless of how it had slowly disintegrated over the last few years, EMIF did give the MICE trade in our country a platform where to meet, network and discover new venues and trends.  ... for the first time in over 25 years Belgium will not have its own professional trade fair anymore… or do we?

Click here to read more.
BBT Online on Youtube!

Cuba is a great destination and the famtrip of Glenaki in partnership with BBT Online in September of several Belgian Incentive houses was a great success.

One of the participants – Michel Devis of Key group - put a presentation Club 100together of his best pictures and typical music….

Viva Cuba!!

Take 5 and discover Cuba, click here. We keep the Destination Report on Cuba for our next edition, in this edition we cover Slovenia. See our next article.
Destination Report: Slovenia, the last of the unexplored European Terrotories

Karina Schuil Karina Schuil, owner of SPARKZ corporate events, needs no introduction in Holland. She was a participant in a recent fam trip of Dutch and Belgian incentive professionals to Slovenia, as she calls it, an unexplored destination, with unexpected treasures.

Slovenia, she confesses to have known little or nothing about before discovering it this summer. The trip was organised by organized by Intours DMC, the Slovenian Convention Bureau and Ria Mooijaart & PartnersRead and discover this fairly unknown destination with enormous potential: click here for more!
IMEX America fulfils expectations
BBT Archives, a wealth of information

Feedback from more than 5,500 hosted buyers, attendees and exhibitors who attended the debut of IMEX America has confirmed that the Las Vegas-based show lived up to its promised goal of delivering high quality business, networking and professional education opportunities.

Speaking at the show's closing press briefing at The Venetian, IMEX group chairman Ray Bloom expressed his delight that the first show had received such a widespread positive reaction, saying, "We have successfully delivered a new, collaborative business model, which is not a US trade show in Las Vegas but a truly global marketplace in America".

euromic brought a group of hosted buyers from Belgium and France to this inaugural edition.

DominiqueDominique Plaissetty, Managing Director of Alterego, a French Incentive Travel house, reports.

Click here to read his view on the fair, together with the comment of 3 Belgian Incentive Agents, Elie Lores Blanes, Christophe De Stoop and Dries Jacobus.

Many of you have commented on how useful they find the information we publish in the Take 5 newsletter. Therefore we keep an archive for you of the entire newsletter collection published until now!  Go to and find all the useful titbits, hotel and destination descriptions we have published. For the destination reports archive we created another page,

This December BBT Online also celebrates its 10th anniversary, a wealth of information and experience and never ending innovation.
We look forward to inform you on the latest MICE news for many more years to come!

Wonder Bus Cook’in

busThe French and good cooking go hand in hand, therefore the Wonder Bus Cook’in in France is a bit of a daring concept.

An old doubledecker bus has been transformed in a moving eatery and will serve a wild menu at your office, at the beach, wherever you want it! Upstairs is the bistrot with fresh, original and tasty preparations, downstairs the kitchen… a fun concept for a different meal!

We desperately need to change our language! – By Hugo Slimbrouck

hugoFor those who think we are in tourism or travel: you need to change your view! We are in the business of creating meaningful and inspiring meetings and events that meet specific business objectives such as increasing sales, building brand launching a new product or service, or enhancing market positioning.

But even our meetings industry is changing. In an ever-changing global business world, the most prized asset remains excellent performance. As relationships change with the influence of technology and globalization, a new form of organizational management in the meetings industry is required.

Click here for more …
IT&CMA and CTW 2011 – Bangkok, Thailand

Once more our journalist Viviane Vogels attended (October 4 – 6) the by TTG Asia organized professional trade fair for Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia and Corporate Travel World Asia – Pacific in Bangkok.

What was new? An increase of number of exhibitors, more than 490 buyers and corporate travel managers attending and this in a room of 5.000m² with new features such as sponsored hosted delegates lounge and the much appreciated fast track immigration clearance at Suvarnabhumi Airport for all hosted delegates and hosted press.

Some important announcements were also made towards the future: next year’s edition will – contrary to the many rumors- remain in Bangkok. A luxury travel component will be added to IT&CMA as from 2012, the year the show celebrates its 20th anniversary. This will be the first time a luxury travel show comes to Asia.
Also new will be IT&CM India, which will be inaugurated next year in New Delhi from August 21 to 24 and will also incorporate a luxury travel component.

itcma itcma itcma
Lipstick & Bubbles @ Bloom!

Trust Hotel Bloom! to launch once again an original and successful formula in SmoodS living room, kitchen & music. Lipstick & Bubbles is aimed at the young female customers. Women get pampered and can enjoy some bubbles and great food every Wednesday evening.

From 6 pm till 8 pm, women who buy 1 glass of bubbles, get 1 for free!  4 women who have dinner together in SmoodS, receive a free bottle of bubbles!

SmoodS has also launched its new food concept : sharing is the name of the game! Make a choice of several starters and main courses and share them around. Do not miss the cocktail desserts, definitely original!

Real Short !!

November, 8. Attend SITE’s Belgium Meet & Lunch: Group dynamics by infotainment. Click here for more info.
Monday November, 21st. BBT Online’s fifth 4-destinations workshop with India, Italy, Quebec and Thai Airways International. For Incentive Agents only.
EIBTM sees 42 new destinations, DMC’s and venues present at the show this year. Barcelona (29th November – 1st December).
BATM organizes it’s last event of the year on 6 December 2011, at the Marriott Hotel Ghent. Topic of the day:  Are we all Small Fish in the Big Ocean? or Addressing best approach and practice for SME’s and how large corporations and SME’s can learn from each other.
February 16th 2012 sees the first edition of “Mice & Event” at Brussels Kart. See our EMIF article for more details.
The 26th edition of ITE and the 7th edition of ITE MICE will be held from June 14-17, 2012 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Since August 5 2011, there is a new DMC in Myanmar with a direct contact in Brussels, Bruno Leunen.  The DMC is member of Inspirations of the World, a Destination Management alliance. ,
MPI has submitted a 12-page report on Corporate Social Responsibility.  For to read the full report, click here.
Do you earn enough? Check it out on the Vacature website and join many others who already took the test:
MSC cruises teams up with Dr Dukan (of the diet fame) to organize dieting cruises this winter.
Star Clippers comes out with new brochure (Nov 2011 – March 2013) “Dreamvacations on board real sailing ships”
The European Commission and the European Travel Commission have signed a joint declaration to promote 'Destination Europe’ under the slogan 'Europe, a never ending journey’.
A new Spa in Belgium: Thermen Katara, more than 10.000 m² spa fun between Waasmunster and St Niklaas.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is the first travel organisation in the Benelux to be certified climate-neutral. This was partly achieved by allowing employees the opportunity to work more frequently from home. The target is that in 2012, 10% of CWT personnel will work on average 3 days per week from home in Belgium and Holland.
EFAPCO announces a new member: the Czech Republic.
Croatia announces the creation of the brand-new Croatian Meeting Professionals Association. CMPA works closely with Croatian National Tourist Board, Croatian Convention & Incentive Bureau, Croatian Association of Travel Agents in developing Croatia into a recognizable international meetings and events destination.
VisitBrussels will be managing a Brussels Fund for Scientific Conferences, a fund jointly founded by the Brussels-Capital Region and the City of Brussels. This fund has the threefold aim of promoting scientific research in Brussels, developing its profile as an innovative force, and increasing the number of conferences that we host.
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Marriott Brussels announces the end of the refurbishment works.
Center Parcs announces the opening of the Marina Center Parcs De Eemhof in Zeewolde, the Netherlands.
Rocco Forte hotels announces the opening of the newest hotel in the Middle East: the Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi with 281 rooms and the largest spa  in Abu Dhabi.
ICOMOS Switzerland (International Council on Monuments and Sites) has named Kurhaus Bergün as Historic Hotel of the Year 2012. Highlights of this imposing art nouveau building include an impressive original kitchen and a beautiful ballroom.
BHA (Brussels Hotel Association) organized the first competition to find the best Club Sandwich in Brussels. A professional jury tasted its way through a variety of sandwiches and unanimously selected the Metropole hotel as the winning sandwich, followed by the Chateau du Lac and Dolce La Hulpe.
In November this luxury 5-star hotel will opens its door in Amsterdam, The hotel features 128 rooms. The location is in the heart of the city, next to the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum and 20 minutes away from Schiphol International Airport.

In August Madrid airport was the one with the most delays in Europe with an average of 19.6 minutes. Madrid is followed closely by Palma de Mallorca, Charles de Gaulle, Ibiza and Lisbon.
Germany has decided to lower the controversial tax on passengers by 5,5% next year to offset the European dealing in carbon emission rights.
BATM (Belgian Association of Travel Management), representing the travel managers of Belgian companies, is requesting the airline industry to produce a greater transparency in the composition of the prices of airline tickets. This is BATM’s reaction to the launch of a “credit card fee” by the airlines of the Lufthansa-group. As the majority of the travel managers’ transactions is via credit card this new rule has a great impact on the general cost of business travel.

Marriott Ghent will celebrate its 5th anniversary in 2012 with a new General Manager. Karen Verbiest, who has been with the hotel since the pre-opening stages, is taking over from Paul Suy.
Paul Suy is taking on a regional position as Senior Vice President European Operations with the Interstate Hotels & Resorts group, owners of Marriott Ghent and will maintain his base in Ghent.
UG Incentives located in Mechelen are looking for a new project manager. Interested? Contact
Alexandra de Merode has joined the team of the Incentive Agency ‘Master Events’.
Peter van Avermaet left Yotran to join Event Masters as MICE coordinator.
Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, CEO of Air France/KLM has resigned his position and Alexandre de Juniac, former assistant of Christine Lagarde, has been suggested as the new Air France topman. Jean-Cyril Spinetta and Leo van Wijk have the strategic management of the group until 2013 when the AF/KLM holding is definite.

And the winner of the wonderful weekend in Spa-Francorchamps offered by Hotel de la Source, is Fabienne Jacquet of Axa Belgium. Congratulations. For those who participated, the answer was 88 C.

Thanks for a very lively and informative newsletter, very interesting and the clips are good too. A role model for all.
Mark Charles Felstead – International Sales Axica – - Berlin, Germany

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members during October: 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. We also created a LinkedIn group for members only.

Laughing is good for you! Carlsberg does it again, this time in Brussels. Arguably the scariest moment for some of the innocent moviegoers! Click here.


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