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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 54th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Dining in a Mercedes-garage
Gourmet hiking:
walk those pounds right back off!

Why not? It will soon be possible, because Michelin chef Bart Depooter (De Pastorale) is opening a luxury-brasserie in the Mercedes-garage on the Grote Zavel /Sablon in Brussels. The restaurant is called WY and it will be an interactive place with iPads and live streaming.

Cameras are installed in the kitchen so guests can see how their dish is being prepared. The menu promises to be a mix between traditional and exotic cooking. Prices will range somewhere between € 50 and € 75. Doors are planned to open on 1 September.
Alta Badia

South-Tirol, with its 13,000 km of mountain paths, is obviously a pristine area for hiking. But who doesn’t want to combine a brisk walk with some Agendaculinary delights? Now you can!

Whether you want a picnic prepared by star chefs in the Alta Badia valley with a view of the Dolomites ( or a culinary pilgrimage along 8 mountain huts in the Vall di Funes, where you can try a different local dish at every stop (, the choice is yours!
The Marjorie: sailing near the MAS
Sleeping above the water

This sailing ship with its 12 rooms in ship-style is unique in Belgium. The home of the Marjorie is the Antwerp harbour next to the MAS.

There are multiple decks and it has a dinner room for up to 50 guests (120 in a buffet formula). An original location for meetings and events.

Ready for an unforgettable night?

Imagine some wonderful locations for events: castle gardens, the deck of a boat, a football-pitch or a night under the stars. Sphair can make it happen, any season, anywhere!

Whether it’s a location of your own choosing, or you pick one out of the numerous places in their catalogue, they will take care of a night to remember!

A watermill is quite a unique hotel location. ‘s Hertogenmolens Hotel in Aarschot dates from the 16th century and was built as an isle over the Demer river.

The completely renovated building features 25 rooms overlooking the flowing water. A walkway along the locks takes you to the brasserie with a club 100terrace built over the river.

Kayaks can be rented to explore the waterways.


Meeting & Sleeping in the hay!
hay-lofts hay-lofts

Ah, hay-lofts! Good places for high jumps and other childlike fun, and for those of you that grew up on the countryside: the perfect spot to play doctor with your first big love. Now it’s also an unbelievable cosy place to spend the night as an adult.

‘Slapen in Stro’ in the province of Groningen (the Netherlands) offers beds in an old hay-loft, or even in a hay-castle and a hay-igloo! Breakfast is served in the big barn on the ground floor and a variety of trips can be arranged.

They also organise teambuilding events, workshops and there are several original meeting rooms!

hay-lofts hay-lofts
Get 10% off on our meeting package at Scandic Grand Place – Brussels
Scandic Hotel Discover our Meeting concept created by Jamie Oliver:
This package includes a meeting room equipped with LCD projector, morning coffee, lunch and afternoon Taste break.
For lunch, we will serve you a soup from Jamie Oliver’s recipe that comes with different toppings, a sandwich buffet or cold wrap and to finish off the meal a lovely dessert buffet.
This offer is based on a minimum of 10 persons and is valid from today till August 31st 2012. For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.
About our rooms:
Enjoy our new room category:  “The superior Extra” includes Face Stockholm products (environmentally friendly), more TV Channels for Free, a voucher of 5€ that you can spend in our restaurant or in the shop, coffee & tea amenities, a safe, a bathrobe and a laptop tray.
Contact: Sophie Vanderstraten, Sales Manager Scandic Grand Place
Rue d'Arenberg 18, 1000 Brussels, Call +32 2 548 18 08, -
Advertisement feature
Scandic hotel
Back to nature
nature nature

Restaurant Aan Zee in Oostvoorne, not far from Rotterdam, is a sustainable venue built out of natural materials located in the dunes with an extraordinary surrounding.
It offers seasonal products and is perfect for events at the seaside and outdoor events.

nature nature
Wish we were here ….
wish wish wish

Check out this great hippie house on the edge of the Medina, in the popular southern Moroccan seaside resort of Essaouira. Dar Beida is a cool 4 bedroom villa, with a perfect yard for long hammock siestas every afternoon and a lovely living room with a fireplace.

The house is cleaned daily and a feast of home cooked Moroccan food can be prepared anytime during your stay. Price: € 385 per person per week. We believe it’s time to book a flight ticket!

wish wish wish
Airline passengers want flights without kids
Government plans to reduce labour costs of flying personnel
To enlarge, click on the picture.

While the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers bigger windows, LED mood lighting, bigger toilets, bigger luggage compartments and cleaner air, a Skyscanner survey shows that passengers dream of a different kind of aircraft. 26% wants facilities to reduce the inconvenience caused by loud children. 18% even wants soundproof rooms to put the little buggers in.

Other passengers have other wishes: massaging seats, free iPad use and even a transparent floor (what a great idea), a special compartment for single people looking for love, showers and a cocktail bar. We have the feeling it will take a while before we’ll be able to board this plane.

Brussels Airlines, Jetairfly, TNT Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines are looking at a favourable tax regime for flying personnel, at least if the European Commission agrees.

The federal government agreed to a budget of € 30 million per year for up to ten years to reduce social contributions and withholding taxes for pilots and cabin crew.

This will reduce the unfair competition with Ryanair, operating from Charleroi but paying its employees under the much cheaper Irish conditions. If Europe approves, the government can work on concrete measures.

Report: Is your company spending too much on travel programs?

CWTA report published by the CWT Travel Management Institute demonstrates how companies with even the most mature managed travel programs still have opportunities to increase savings —often by 10 percent or more.

Read the whole report behind the link and see whether you’re doing all the right things.
6 out of 10 Belgian companies are on Facebook

According to research from InSites Consulting, SSI and No Problem!, not only consumers are finding their way to popular social network sites, companies are joining them. 59% of Belgian companies use Facebook, 39% have a Twitter account, 35% are on LinkedIn and 20% use YouTube.

These numbers are very similar to those of our neighbouring countries. Only the Netherlands is far ahead facebookof the rest of the pack. There’s a digital gap growing in the business world too. Companies that aren’t using digital media yet aren’t planning on doing so in the future. Businesses that already invest heavily in social media, will use them even more in the years to come.

If you haven’t done already, BBT Online is on FB so do hook up with us so you can be kept in the loop of the latest news,

Another successful 4 Destinations Workshop for BBT Online!
4 Destinations 4 Destinations
4 Destinations 4 Destinations

60 Incentive Agents enjoyed not only the professional presentations of Canada – Rocky Mountaineer, Croatia, Nice and Poland, but also had exciting Porsche drives and a great BBQ party under a fabulous tent courtesy of the Holiday Inn Airport on Monday the 25th of June. And our prayers were heard! We even had some sunshine!

After dinner, the excellent DJ had everybody shaking on the dance floor until late. See you in Antwerp on September 3rd for our next edition with 4 new Destinations: Bruges, Spain, Tahiti and The Gambia!

4 Destination

Destination Report: The Gambia – rising star for incentive travel

Raymond DesmetRaymond Desmet, Managing Partner from the Belgian Incentive Agency @dmire took part in a famtrip together with 5 other incentive agents to The Gambia last June on invitation by Glenaki and BBT Online.

This tiny but beautiful Mid-African country is one of the continent’s rising stars as far as tourism is concerned, and offers some very interesting possibilities for incentive groups too.

Click here to read the full report.

Gambia Gambia
Destination Report 2: Adventure in Catalonia

BBT Online reporter Jonathan Ramael risked life and limb climbing the Catalan Pyrenees to give you a complete report of all the activities available in this beautiful region, just a two hour flight away.

The mountains, the Costa Brava, the Vall de Nuria and La Cerdanya: they’re all near to each other and they all offer a vast variety of incentive opportunities. For some of them, you’ll have to be somewhat fit though.

Read more behind the link!

Catalonia Catalonia Catalonia
Guest column: Korea MICE Expo 2012

Bent HadlerOur friend Bent Hadler, CEO of Hadler DMC, took off to Seoul to attend the biggest MICE fair in Korea He came back with a lot of impressions and – luckily for us – with a report on the event as well.

Click here to read more!

Korea MICE Korea MICE Korea MICE
Good times on the Meeting Trophy Switzerland!

BBT Online's editor-in-chief Karin de Graauw just returned from the Meeting Trophy in Switzerland. By far THE famtrip among famtrips!

The entire Belgian team was highly motivated, and achieved an honourable 4th place. By gambling on the wrong pigs during the pig-race, we missed our chance for a place in the top three. No complaints though, the Germans won the trophy fair and square. Everyone agreed we had a wonderful couple of days.

Off to Switzerland everyone, for your next meeting and/or event! Read the full report in our next Take5! More info on this event contact Myriam Winnepenninckx,

On the 14th of November Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau will organise their yearly workshop, click here.

Switzerland Switzerland
Perfectly timed pictures

Sometimes, when you take a picture, the timing is just right. It wasn’t skill or patience that did the trick, you were just there at the right moment.

This can result in a beautiful portrait or an impressive action photo, but more importantly, it can lead to hilarious images to light up a dull moment at the office. Enjoy!


International Meetings Review – your worldwide information platform

Over the last couple of months you have been receiving weekly news alerts from the International Meetings Review (IMR). BBT Online is the sole Benelux partner for this exciting worldwide news platform and one of the founding members of this great initiative. In order to inform you even better we would like your opinion on IMR so far.

Please take a couple of minutes to answer some easy questions on We appreciate your input; our aim is to further improve our service to you, our reader.
And don’t forget, & are the first places to look for the latest news in the world of MICE!

Real Short !!

23-25 August, Famtrip Rotterdam & The Hague. If you want to discover the MICE potential of these two Dutch cities (and you should), subscribe by clicking here! Remember: places are limited, there’s not much time for hesitation!
3 September, Badboot, Antwerp: BBT Online’s 8th Four Destinations Workshop with Bruges, Spain, Tahiti/Aeroports de Paris and The Gambia. This workshop is already fully booked, but incentive agents who still want to come should mail to We’ll add you to the waiting list with pleasure!
30 September – 7 October, Saint-Tropez: Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez. Be a privileged spectator at this world famous sailing event and come to Hotel Sezz in Saint-Tropez, where you can board a chartered yacht or even a competition vessel.
5-8 November, ExCeL, London: World Travel Market. Registration for WTM, one of the leading global events for the travel industry, is now live.
6-8 November, Zeelandhallen, Goes: Contacta 2012. This year, the Contacta networking fair welcomes speakers like Jan Mulder and business woman 2012 Jacqueline Zuidweg. Register now on:
26-27 March 2013, Palais des Festivals, Cannes: Heavent Meetings Sud. A trade show for the event and business tourism sector in sunny Cannes. Click here for more info:
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

All previous BBT Online Take5 newsletters can be read behind this link. Be sure to check them out if you missed one!
Because the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Summit 2013 will be held at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, the whole area gets a thorough renovation. The airport gets enlarged, a new sewage system is being installed and the roads will be greatly improved. and Tourism Ireland put together a new iPhone city guide for Belfast. It will become the first Irish destination with its own Dutch iPhone app. The app normally costs € 1,59, but to celebrate this introduction, it’s freely downloadable in July and August.
Saint-Cirq Lapopie (what a lovely name) in the department of Lot, is now officially the favourite village of the French. At least according to the television programme of the same name. It beat 22 other villages to the first spot.
The Salt Cave in Brussels is a genuine haven of relaxation and revitalization, completely furnished and decorated with rock salt. A 45-minute session in the Salt Cave should have a beneficial and relaxing effect both physically and spiritually.
The Ras Al Hadd Turtle Reserve in Oman recently opened the Turtle Visitor Centre, where people can get acquainted with various sea turtles while using the latest technologies. The reserve, located next the Indian Ocean, is a haven for more than 20,000 sea turtles.
FancyTran is a free translation application that not only translates your texts but also recognizes speech and tells you how to pronounce the words. The app can translate into over 30 languages and can give the pronunciation of words in over 50. Moreover, the app recognizes 14 spoken languages.
The Spanish government’s recent decision to increase tax on hotel stays from 8% to 10% could benefit the Greeks. Since both Greece and some other countries are thinking about tax cuts for the tourism industry, Spain could be pricing itself out of the market.
BE Park is a website offering an economic alternative to public parking lots. It concentrates on sharing existing parking places. All you have to do is create an account on, and you will be led to all available parking spots near your current location. Check the website for more info.
If you want to spend winter in a warmer place, take a look at Star Clippers “Treasure Cruise” in the Caribbean. This 8-day cruise departs from St-Maarten and can be booked from December 2012 until March 2013. Various discounts are available for early bookers.
European city tourism showed an overall growth of 5,9 % last year with international bed nights increasing with an even better 8% – despite the gloomy economic backdrop. The results were presented at the European Cities Marketing BRIC conference in Zagreb this month, during the launch of the 8th Edition of the ECM Benchmarking Report. London, Paris, and Berlin remain the three most popular European cities for tourists.
Heerlijk Heerlijk! provides unique events on special rural locations. Drinks in an orchard, a country wedding, picnic in the polders, Christmas in a greenhouse, a buffet on a boat, brainstorming with cows (well, not literally with them)... Anything goes!
Nearly half of business travellers book their own business flight directly online. One out of four goes to a business travel agent for bookings. This is shown by a study among Belgian and Dutch business travellers by BCD Travel.
Costa Cruises offers 6-day mini-cruises targeting (primarily) women. Cruise the waters of the Mediterranean, with shop-stops in Barcelona and Marseille or Palma de Mallorca. Special tariffs are offered for cruises on 12 or 14 September: starting from € 208 instead of € 1310!
On 22 June MPI Belgium chapter put together a very nice educational for meeting planners in cooperation with the Ostend Convention Bureau & the famous Thermae Palace hotel. Some visits of the nicest meetings venues in Ostend were on the program. introduces an exclusive iPhone App for the Olympic Games in London this year. With this app you can easily find your way around London, while you stay informed of all the latest Olympic news.

The Kempinski Hotel Dukes’ Palace in Bruges was awarded the Certificate of Excellence 2012 by leading travel site Tripadvisor.
Spoor 62 is a great bed & breakfast in the former train station of Moere, near Bruges. Once the legendary Pullmann Express roared past here, now it’s a lovely place where peace, discrete luxury and a historic venue come together.
La Fille d’Oscar in Herk-de-Stad is a lovely bed and breakfast housed in a renovated farmstead. It can easily accommodate dinners for up to 30 people and receptions for up to 60. Worth checking out!
From 5 July to 15 September (from Tuesday to Saturday), Brasserie Autoworld near the Jubelpark turns into the BrusselsLife Café. Enjoy! For those who weren’t there: here are some pictures of the VIP opening:
Enjoy the elegant feeling of being on a cruise-ship without really sailing the seven seas. The steamboat SS Rotterdam, once built for the famous Holland-America line, is now completely renovated into a lovely retro-hotel breathing the atmosphere of the sixties!
The beautiful Castle Engelenburg in Brummen is located right next to a nine-hole golf course and just a few minutes away from the natural park De Hoge Veluwe and its Kroller-Muller museum (with a nice Van Gogh collection). Various activities can be organized here, like an old-timer drive to Bronkhorst, the smallest city of the Netherlands.
 “Sleeping in the woods” is what you do in this wooden bed and breakfast in a forest in Apeldoorn (the Netherlands). The place to be for someone who truly wants to have a peaceful break. The roof is made of glass, so you can look at the treetops or the starry sky at night. The inside is full of designer furniture. We’re total fans!
Riu just bought a lot in Manhattan, right between the most famous Broadway theatres. The hotel, planned to be built in the line of the Riu Plaza city hotels, will have a view over Times Square.

The Airbus A320 – the world’s most popular single-aisle aircraft, celebrates its 25th birthday. It has carried about 7 billion passengers since its creation in 1988. That’s the equivalent of the current world population.
As of 21 June 2012, Avianca Taca is a member of the Star Alliance family. Combined, Avianca and TACA serve more than 100 destinations in America and Europe and offer the most complete route network in Latin America.
Brussels Airlines now offers its passengers the possibility to fly from Brussels to Bangkok directly and in comfort. The new flight offer results from a codeshare agreement between Brussels Airlines and Star Alliance partner Thai Airways International.
As of this winter, Brussels Airlines offers weekly flights to Mombasa. This touristic coastal city sporting lovely sandy beaches is the second Brussels Airlines destination in Kenia, after Nairobi.
Brussels Airport banned online travel agent from putting ads on luggage trolleys in the airport. Reason: the overwhelming presence of low cost carrier Ryanair on the site, flying from Charleroi. Weird, since only 11% of flights sold on CheapTickets leave from Charleroi. The organization is considering legal action.
As of December, Ryanair will station an aircraft at Maastricht Aachen Airport. It will be the 51st Ryanair base in Europe. The Irish low-cost carrier will introduce three new destinations: Dublin, London and Treviso. Ryanair already flies to Alicante, Girona, Bari, Faro, Malaga, Milan Bergamo, Palma, Porto, Pisa, Tenerife and Trapani from Maastricht.
While the big traditional airlines are deep in the red and need to reorganize, Ryanair made a net profit of 503 million in the past year. But those profits are due to state aid, according to the Association of European Airlines (AEA). Without this aid, including cheap landing fees, Ryanair would record a loss of 305 million euro. In total, the low-cost carrier got about 792 million euro in state aid.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol received the ACI EUROPE Best Airport Award 2012 in the category ‘Airports with more than 25 million passengers’. It’s the third time Schiphol receives this award.

Gert De Caluwe will become the new GM of Thomas Cook Belgium on 1 September. He’ll take over from current GM Ulrik Vercruysse.
Enzo Piccoli, Incentives and Travel Director of Tellus, was elected as the new president of QIS (Qualified Incentive Specialists –
Veerle Jacobs leaves Apollo Hotels & Resorts after 1,5 years. She will start working as GM for Het Witte Paard.
Quinten Veerman left Dolce La Hulpe Brussels to start working as a Senior Market Account Manager at the Marriot Brussels cluster.
Ilona Jung left The Dominican in Brussels to take on a new challenge at The Savoy in London.

“The 4 Destinations Workshop was superb, we were very happy with the evening and we’re looking forward to the next edition.”

Gina Vercauter, Sales Manager Belgium & Luxembourg, Air Canada

Click here for more testimonials regarding our last 4 destinations workshop in the Holiday Inn Airport on the 25th of June.

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:

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.

BBT Online Club 100: the place where you meet more MICE planners than suppliers!


Laughing is good for you! In this month’s Something Funny we can see that if someone dares to spill beer, the world will briefly stop turning…. Click here, and enjoy.


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