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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 55th edition.
of our take5 articles are advertorial free.

Pineau des Charentes Trophy
Discover Valle d’Aosta’s wine route

For every fan of this sweet French drink, this is the place to be: the Jubelpark/Cinquentenaire in Brussels on 15 and 16 September.

You can participate in degustation sessions, enjoy concerts and animation, or chill out in the ‘So City’ lounge to enjoy Pineau on ice or in a cocktail.

And of course, there’s the famous waiter-run.
Valle d’Aosta

We know Valle d’Aosta in North Italy as a popular ski resort. But did you know it’s a wine region too? It’s home to Europe’s highest vineyards, hidden between the imposing peaks of the Alps.

Following the ‘Route des Vins’ is highly recommended. Get mesmerised by the wonderful landscape, while you discover how the locals heroically grow their grapes on the mountain terraces.
Wish we were here!

Ah.., the French Provence: great views, wonderful food, cosy little villages and more wine than you can handle. Few other regions are so famous for their ability to live the good life.

Ten beautiful, contemporary villas await you here, crammed with designer furniture and more than 250 pieces of art. A great place for a refreshing new way to experience the Provence.

domaine_des_andeolss domaine_des_andeolss
domaine_des_andeolss domaine_des_andeolss
Switch homes!

Ever wanted to stay in a luxurious villa in, for example, in Sydney or on a Hawaiian beach? What if you could do this for free? Sounds crazy right? Not that crazy, apparently!

There’s a catch though: you have to have an expensive mansion yourself. Every member of Home Exchange Gold (membership: € 400 per year), can temporarily change houses with other owners for free.

Some 1,000 exclusive homes are available right now, in 60 countries: right in the centre of Barcelona, on a coffee plantation in Brazil... you name it! Better start saving for that mansion!

PS: people with regular homes can find kindred spirits on

Switch homes Switch homes Switch homes
Invitation Famtrip:
Let Spa inspire you!
Meet up at Meetopolis

Still or sparkling, business or pleasure: Spa refreshes, and now you can experience it yourself!

If you’re looking for a green, easy to reach destination that gives you in-Spa-ration (see what we did there?) with quality accommodation and unique venues, look no further: Spa is where you should be heading.

Find out all about this “bubbling” region firsthand, by registering for the famtrip on 27-28 September, organized by Meet in Spa and partners. Interested? Send a mail to to receive all the details.

Meetopolis (16 October 2012, Square – Brussels Meeting Centre) is a day full of presentations, workshops and discussions led by renowned speakers and moderators from all over Europe.

It’s the first cross-industry training and inspiration platform for meeting and event planners, addressing daily needs and issues that planners sometimes struggle with. A useful way of exchanging and sharing information, experiences and ideas with your colleagues.

For more info or to register, check the website:

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Destination Report: Wild adventures on the Switzerland Meeting Trophy!

BBT Online was invited to participate in the Switzerland Meeting Trophy this year and it Britt Vanroelenwas quite a unique experience. The Belgian team managed to secure an honourable 4th place (which is better than what most Belgian Olympians managed to pull off).

Read the full report behind this link, written by Britt Vanroelen of American Express Meetings & Events and part of the Belgian team.

Switzerland Switzerland
Switzerland Switzerland
Showing the no-shows!

Recently, a county court ruled that a supplier to event organisers who booked to join a free famtrip to Spain but failed to attend, must pay the costs incurred by the organiser for her no-show.
no excusesGillian Betteridge of the Cat Scratches Dog event management company had registered to join a trip to Madrid last October, run by the incentive and conference management company Ruby Mear. She didn’t show up at the airport though, with the admirable vague “client problems” as the excuse. Ruby Mear didn’t buy this, and invoiced her for all costs made. When she failed to pay, they went to court. They won the case, and Betteridge was ordered to pay a total of £ 1032,76.
More and more organisers are trying to seek a commitment, backed by a credit card, to cover possible no-shows. We at BBT Online understand this thought, since bad excuses are too easily made.

These kind of actions have the strongest effect if the whole industry supports them. We would like to hear your take on the issue. Send us your thought mail via
Reed Travel Exhibitions launches
ILTM Africa
BBT Online’s 4-D Workshops:
next year’s dates!
cape town

Reed Travel Exhibitions announced the launch of ILTM Africa, the first luxury travel event to focus exclusively on Africa.

Taking place in Cape Town, April 2013, the event will follow ILTM's successful format of selecting the most discerning luxury travel agents and specialists to meet directly with Africa's diverse range of luxury travel suppliers.

While the product will be totally devoted to Africa, buyers will come from all over the world. Each of the invited buyers and suppliers will be accredited for participation.


Our planning for next year’s BBT Online’s 4-Destinations workshops is finished. We’ll have four for incentive agents: on January, 14, June, 24, September, 2 and December, 2. Yes, we do like Mondays!

We’ll organise an extra one for the corporate & association market on 3 December.
We haven’t decided on the venues yet, but as always we prefer to opt for original ones, or classics with an extra attraction.

If you would like to present your destination on one of the workshops, please send a mail to
Trouble in the board? – MPI Belgium’s reaction

mpiBBT Online’s question about the resignation (removal?) of president Nick Kleingeld – who barely started his function at the time – led to an official reaction by MPI Belgium.

“Nick Kleingeld resigned from his function from the board as there was no basis for a continuation of cooperation. The MPI Board accepted his resignation and formed a new board. We wish Nick all the best for the future.”

Gemmeke de JonghGemmeke de Jongh took over the role of President for the coming year."Together with our professional team we aim to follow the latest trends within the industry and we want to build bridges between different communities and players. Not only locally but also across the boarders. To do so concretely MPI Belgium will bring a year of education and networking events" says Gemmeke.

The new Board is a mixture of professionals from different backgrounds, sectors, and regions. Furthermore it is happy to have several people from Generation Y in its team. The Board is composed of Pieter Allaerts, Elisabeth Van Ingelgem, Kathleen Bertier, Veerle Jacobs, Celine Roosen, Siviglia Berto and Gemmeke de Jongh.

The first education after the summer will bring together 3 main players in the field of online services. MPI invited Tripadvisor, eventplanner and to have an open discussion about what is new and exciting in their field. The event will take place on Monday 17 September from 12h-14h in Antwerp.

How trustworthy are hotel rating websites?

opinionA lot of people use the internet to decide on which hotel to pick. Seems like the logical thing to do. It’s a democratic medium and opinions on sites like are published by regular customers like you and me. Or are they?

Who is checking the credibility of these opinions? Maybe some of them are posted by angry ex-employees or competitors? Are some hotels purposely paying people to write good reviews? A TF1 report found out who’s truly hiding behind some of these anonymous reviews.

The reality is at times unsettling:
Point of view: Peter De Wilde, CEO Toerisme Vlaanderen

Peter De WildeThe controversial decision of Toerisme Vlaanderen to go solo at trade fairs is still the topic of many conversations in the MICE industry.

BBT Online’s Viviane Vogels met with Peter De Wilde, the man behind the decision, and asked for his take on this sensitive question.

Click here to read the exclusive interview.

Real Short !!

Join BBT Online for some professional networking together with a champagne tasting session on Friday September, 14. Info and subscription,
17 September, Antwerp: MPI Belgium Educational. “How online platforms can change the way we organise.” With representatives from Tripadvisor, Eventplanner and
20 September, D’leteren Gallery, Brussels: ‘Mobility of the Future’. An evening for incentive agents organised by the German Convention Bureau.
30 October, MS Alegria Cruiseship, Amsterdam: Caribbean Latin Workshop. 30 exhibitors share the latest news on the most important Caribbean destinations, product and services. A day of networking, presentations and wine tasting. More info via
15 November, Heineken Experience, Amsterdam: 6th MICE & Business Travel Fair. A must for everyone involved in the meeting industry.
Consult BBT Online’s MICE agenda, and don’t miss any event.

Air Plus International published a report on the physical effects of business travel. It seems that frequent business travellers have a lower concentration level, experience more stress and are less productive than their non-travelling colleagues. Click here for the full report.
The European Travel Commission (ETC) published its second quarterly report on European Tourism in 2012 - Trends & Prospects. Click here to read the report.
After ten editions, The Hague’s Prince for a Day concept was renewed to give meeting planners the chance to create a more personal and individual programme. MICE Monday, as the new project is called, lets guests determine their own schedule: what to visit, who to meet, etc. made the first interactive travel guide on Tuscany: an i-magazine in pdf-format. It can be read on iPads, ebook-readers and laptops. It’s a guide full of tips and great addresses in Florence, San Gimignano, the beaches of the Versilia and all other highlights of the region.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) released its 2013 Travel Price Forecast, which indicates that prices in most areas of travel spend are expected to grow modestly around the globe next year, with the most significant inflation expected throughout the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions. Read the full report here.
The first iDBUS – long distance, high comfort bus connections by the SNCF – started driving on 23 July. It connects Paris and Lille with Brussels, Amsterdam and London. In Brussels Midi, there are 4 busses leaving for Paris and 2 for Lille each day. Check out for more info.
SeaDream Yacht Club announced its travel schedule for 2013. Next year, the luxury mega-yacht will cross the Panama Canal for the first time, to sail along Costa Rica’s marvellous coastline. The Seadream I will leave for Panama City from Barbados on 9 November 2013.

The annual pop-up restaurant & bar Gaston on the roof of the Galveston-building in Ghent opened again, completely renewed compared to last year. It’s open until 29 September. Don’t worry though: Winter Gaston welcomes from 14 December until 19 January. More info on
As of 1 August, NH Hotels (with venues in 26 countries) offers free WiFi in all hotel rooms and in all common areas. By doing this, they’re addressing a very popular customer request.

On 28 October, Brussels Airlines will launch a new scheduled service to Edinburgh. From then on, Scotland’s capital city will be connected with Brussels Airport six times a week. Starting next summer season, two daily frequencies will be scheduled. Return tickets are available from 99 euro, taxes included.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will begin operating service to Harare on 29 October 2012. The Zimbabwean capital will be served in combination with the new KLM destination Lusaka, Zambia.
American Airlines will stop flying to Brussels as of 1 November. Reasons for the decision are the competition with Star Alliance, the company’s current reorganisation in chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and the European recession. Brussels Airlines and Delta Airlines will be the only ones still flying to JFK from Brussels.

The Husa President Park sadly informed us of the passing of Director of Sales Filip Ulens (40). His professionalism, sense of business and devotion to the hotel and its clients will be truly missed. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
Olga Jacob, for years the face of American Airlines in Belgium, was promoted to Regional manager Benelux & France. She will move to Paris to lead her French team but stays responsible for the Benelux market as well.
Adriano Currenti will leave hotel Matelote & hotel Ter Elst in September to start a new challenge at the Holiday Inn Brussels Airport. For hotel Ter Elst you can contact Gregory Bouts ( or Tom Hendrickx (
Alexander Suski has been appointed as the new director of sales and marketing at Kempinski Nile Hotel. Cairo’s leading luxury boutique property is located in the prestigious Garden City with great views on the Nile River, opened in July 2010.
Linda van Pottelberghe, together with 3 other colleagues, have been given notice and will no longer be working for Martin’s Hotel as of September, 1st.
Linda is looking for another opportunity and can be reached on
As from September 17th, William van Wassenhove (previous Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Brussels Airport) will take up a new position as Director of Business Development at The Hotel Brussels (also part of the Pandox group).

BBT Online Club 100 welcomed the following new members last month:
  • Alain Ramoisy  - Director Preference Travel Team –
  • Anja De Haen  - Team Leader MICE BCD Groups Department –
  • Christel Eisenkolb -  Senior Project Leader MICE BCD Groups Department –
  • Lydia Franken -  Senior Project Leader MICE BCD Groups Department –
  • Ines Geerts – Senior Project Leader MICE BCD Groups Department –
  • Marieke Slee - Owner & Manager 4SURE PR & Events –
  • Tanja Kers - Owner & Manager 4SURE PR & Events –

If you as a MICE planner or supplier are 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 see that all of us can lose weight. It’s just a matter of finding the right incentive to start working. Click here, and enjoy.


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