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Gulets, another incentive alternative
Your cultural guide to Brussels
For small incentive groups or just for your team, a couple of days of total water relaxation on board of a ’gulet’ is many people’s dream of paradise! Incentive House Passaporta, based in Brussels, invites you to discover a selection of beautifully appointed ships with all comfort to cruise along the Turkish coast or to some of the Greek Islands. All cabins with own bathroom, good food and good company are the main ingredients of a couple of days at sea that will leave you refreshed and ready to go again!
The authenticity of these handmade wooden boats, the secret coves along the coast, the festive villages and the efficient crews are one of the best ways of exploring the wonders of these emerald green waters! www.passaporta.eu

‘Demandezleprogramme.be’ is an initiative of the agency Vertige and was launched to create an interactive platform between the public of cultural events on one side and the artists and organizations on the other hand.

It is a diary for the passionate theatre fan, but also for music, concerts, exhibtions, etc, with a team of editors that provides interviews and reviews. But the site is more; it is a discussion forum where each spectator can express his or her opinions. At the same time artists get higher visibility and can learn from the feedback from their public, a win-win situation for all.

So, before going to your next event, go to www.demandezleprogramme.be and find out all you wanted to know about the program in question.
4 new openings
Sandton Mondo Hotel - Ostend
Qbic Hotel - Amsterdam
An original – and protected - Art-Deco building of 1928 was completely and lovingly restored and is now home to Ostend’s newest *** deluxe hotel, the Sandton Mondo Hotel, ‘a place where yesterday and today fell madly in love’ as they put it themselves.

Situated near the beach and the casino, the hotel has 58 rooms all with modern comfort, 3 meeting rooms and a sauna and relaxation room. A welcome addition to the Ostend hotel scene!

Qbic Hotel is the low cost design hotel of Amsterdam, with cheap rates starting from €69.00. Due to the efficiency of Qbic Hotels, they offer high quality accommodation at discount prices. Central to this is the Cubi, a cube-shaped state-of-the-art living space. Each Cubi features a practical configuration, with an extra long Hästens bed, Philippe Starck design bathroom elements, LCD TV, high-speed Internet, safe and an ingenious work-and-dine set. A real pod hotel!
There is also a Qbic in Maastricht and Antwerp.


Kempinksi Bilila Lodge – Tanzania
The Bilila Lodge Kempinski has opened its doors on 1 June 2009  in the Serengeti National Park, one of Tanzania’s UNESCO  World Heritage sites. Guests can enjoy moonlit barbecues, a conference room accommodating up to 80 people, a library, a play room, a  fitness  centre, an art gallery and a gift shop and  a teak deck  for relaxing while watching game (personal  telescope included); suites have their own private plunge pool.     

Bilila Lodge  Kempinski (74 rooms - including 2 private villa's) is located in the Central North of the Serengeti National Park, in an untouched  part of the  Park where the hotel will have its own private game drives. The hotel is a 45-minute drive from the Seronera  airstrip, which in turn is a  50-minute flight from Arusha, the nearest international airport, into which KLM currently flies on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.


Mondrian South Beach Hotel - Miami

Mondrian South Beach Hotel opened end 2008. The Hotel Residence is built on a prime waterfront location and provides breathtaking views of the Atlantic and downtown Miami.
Facilities include Agua: a spa featuring wet and dry treatment rooms, a state-of-the-art gym, meeting rooms, a world class five-star restaurant, a dynamic nightlife experience, chic event spaces and a private, 40-slip marina with a private dock master and sand barge. The hotel is designed by Marcel Wanders, a world-famous design star and an original member of the influential Droog collective in the Netherlands.

www.mondrian-miami.com - www.marcelwanders.com

Ready for some real action?

Let’s face it, bungee jumping is ‘passé’, here are a few suggestions of activities that will make your adrenaline flow!

As Bond on the Thames: Forget the traditional excursion boats, go for a hair-raising ride on a RIB – Rigid Inflatable Boat- and see London at speeds up to 90 km/hr. These boats, specially designed for the paratroopers, literally fly over the water and can take up to 12 people on board. www.thamesribexperience.com
Abseiling from 100 m: At a height of 100 m you just step over the railing to go straight down. Piece of cake? Not really, because theres no wall to put your feet against. The Euromast in Rotterdam is the only place in Europe where abseiling is possible in this way. By the way. Dont forget to look around you: there’s a metropolis beneath you.
Hydrospeeding in Switzerland: put on your helmet and wetsuit and go with the flow! That’s hydrospeeding: you descend fast flowing rivers lying on your belly on a bodyboard. The faster the river, the more ‘speeding’ the experience...a guaranteed adrenaline boost!
Rally driving on ice: Experience the thrill of Rally on the snow and ice, take a turn at Ice Karting and optional snow mobile trek in a 2- night stay. Including Ice Rally School and Ice Karting. Learn to drive fast and furious in a pure ice underground, exhilaration guaranteed. Also for corporate events.

Other original acitivities: Kitesurf – www.kitesurf.be, Treasure hunt with helicopter - xtreme.be/nl/crazy-trophy.html , Skydiven – www.indoorskydive.com, learn to fly a helicopter – www.bestinsky.be

Xtreme specialist for Belgium SURFANDFLY has a whole new series of unusual and extreme events to propose going from buggy trips to crazy trophy races, sailing regatta, treasure hunts in speedboats & helicopters... all from elegant Knokke-Heist, the place to be at the Belgian Coast.
Read al about it on xtreme.be/nl/crazy-trophy.html

Don’t spoil the party!

Every year millions are lost in food, drink, decorations etc. because of people not showing up at functions, some industries have up to 40 à 50% no-shows at public functions…en enormous waste! ACEA (Belgian Association of Event Agencies), EMA-Society (Society of Corporate Event Managers) and MPI Belgium (Meeting Planners International) have given their full support to a project to actively combat the no-shows at events.

Each company that features the “Spoilman” logo on its invites indicates it wants to actively combat the scourge of the no-shows. The user right of 1€ per invited guest the participating company also supports Unicef and its project “Schools in Africa”. By putting the logo prominently on their invitations, companies will also encourage people to honor their commitment of attending and should they still not attend, to start thinking of bettering their ways and to donate the equivalent cost of their presence to a good cause.
Interested in this great initiative, go to www.dontspoiltheparty.org

BBT Online wholeheartedly supports this great initiative together with Betàbeest, Duval Guillaume, EventMasters, NautaDutilh, Hill & Knowlton, Rits, Toerisme Vlaanderen, Act, B-Art, Bevas, Brand Event, Compane, Conrad, Cre-action, Event Business, Event Mosaic, Fast Forward, Guava, Impact Diffusion, Meet Marcel, Verhulst Events, Escape and Twins.

Critical look at Meetings Industry

Hugo Slimbrouck of Ovation reminds us that in times of crisis, as we are living today, not only does our industry reflect the state of the economy, but it is definitely a time to reflect and advance the role of the Meeting Industry. In his usual straightforward style he gives us a critical look on the very important role of our industry and its major players…You!
Click here for more….

Wish you were here

Taj Lake Palace Hotel, Rajashtan, India

The Taj Lake Palace Hotel, that rises majestically from the gently lapping waters of lake Pichola, is possibly the most romantic hotel in the world. The hotel offers 83 rooms, 3 restaurants and a bar, an inner garden and spa. The inner garden is perfect for receptions and small dinner parties. For an exclusive private party hire the ceremonial barge or book a pontoon for a highly intimate dinner.

For more incentive ideas, contact the local DMC Designer Incentives. BBT Online enjoyed a famtrip together with 7 Belgium incentive houses in April earlier this year. We flew directly from Brussels to Delhi with Jet Airways on which we received a perfect service.
To see all the pictures of this famtrip, click here. A more detailed destination report will follow shortly, watch this space.

www.designerincentives.net - dimple@designerholidays.net
www.jetairways.com - mvancaster@jetairways.com

Tintin gets his own home!
Go deep-sea diving in the heart of Berlin

© Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
The idea of a museum has been germinating from as far back as 1979, while the author Hergé was still alive. The goal was always to make Hergé’s creations known to the wider public, to give Tintin and his friends a home. Today the dream has materialised: the Hergé Museum opened its doors on June 2nd 2009, the artist’s birthday.

The Hergé Museum will be available for private visits after hours for groups up to 300 people, visits with cocktail in the Patio will be possible for 220 participants and if the visit is followed by a walking dinner the number is limited to 180 people.


The attraction of the hotel lobby in the Radisson SAS Berlin is the AquaDom. It is the world's largest cylindrical aquarium with one million litres of saltwater, habitat to many species of tropical fish. The AquaDom is maintained by the Sea Life Berlin, next door to the hotel, where 30 freshwater and saltwater tanks are home to thousand of sea dwellers. The highlight of the "Sea Life" discovery tour is the ride with the two storied elevator through the middle of the AquaDom.

You want to read more on unique bars and clubs in the world? Read the book ‘Extreme Bars’ published by Tectum Publisher. www.tectum.be. Beside Extreme Bars, they also published Extreme Restaurants, Extreme Venues and Extreme Hotels.
One Year in China
Good speakers, hard to find?...

Karel Ooms was ‘our man in China’, representing Belgium in China for over a year. A year that was quite an adventure and also an eye opener as he describes in his interesting story.

China is not an easy market to penetrate as is known, Karel describes his efforts, trials and tribulations from the moment he arrived at Beijing airport with 2 large suitcases and a great deal of optimism – which he would definitely need later! The sheer challenge of getting through daily life, let alone open an office makes for interesting reading and a quiet chuckle now and then! Click here and settle down for an enjoyable read. (In Dutch).

A good event is often made or not by the quality of the speakers. Thankfully there are more and more organizations that can help the organizer to not only identify the right speaker for the occasion but will take all the stress out of organizing these speakers out of the hands of the organizers. They are more than just booking agencies; they help organizers to identify the right caliber and personality speaker to enhance the goal and message of the event. They will also ensure that all practical details are taken care of and if disaster should strike they will be of invaluable help to find a replacement so as to ensure the good continuity of your event.

ABITO gets a second wind
ABITO, the Belgian Association of Destination Management Companies, has, after a period of relative inactivity, decided to revitalize and regroup to actively represent its members and the Meetings & Incentives Industry in Belgium. Read more, click here.

BTExpo 2009 – new look !

At a recent press conference the BTExpo organizers unveiled the 2009 edition new look.
After the evaluation of the ’08 edition where they welcomed over 4000 visitors, representing 1600 of the total 2000 travel agents in Belgium, an Exhibitors Advisory Forum was assembled and several proposals put forward. Read more, click here.


Something Old, Something New!
Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin
Hotel Elzenduin
The Dutch coast has besides its natural beauty many fine hotels and restaurants on offer that make it a pleasure to visit!
There is the ‘Grande dame’ Huis ter Duin, opened first in 1885 and after the great fire in 1990 reconstructed as a great hotel, home to old world courtesy and class and new world facilities.The hotel is centrally located between Amsterdam and The Hague with its own heliport and 25 minutes from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin has 19 multifunctional halls with a maximum capacity of 1500 people. All meeting rooms have natural daylight and the most modern audiovisual equipment can be provided. Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin offers 230 luxurious rooms, 20 attractive suites and four magnificent penthouses. The penthouses are extremely suitable for a small-scale executive meeting or an intimate dinner.

www.huisterduin.com - m.bonnier@huisterduin.com
A bit further down the road, located right in between The Hague and Rotterdam, Ter Heijde has remained a cosy dune village with an unspoilt coastline. It is the home of hotel Elzenduin, an international urban hotel in the dune dip of an Old Dutch fishing village.

This hotel is a new and personal concept of chef/hotel-keeper Marco Westmaas. And in Elzenduin you don’t have to hold a seashell to your ears in order to hear the sounds of the sea, for the sea lies within reach. Hotel Elzenduin has drawn the beach atmosphere inside for the urban nomad and the modern business traveller, and holds the key to rugged scenery, an affordable, luxurious night’s rest and innovative food.
Hotel Elzenduin has 27 bedrooms.

Ghent goes Indian! Royal Wellness in Waterloo

Raj is the new Indian buzzword in Ghent. Raj is not only an original restaurant with a high level of true Indian authenticity both in the décor, the entertainment and the excellent food. Raj is also the Bathouse in one of the oldest quarters of the city. It is like entering an Indian Palace and the variety of treatments will leave you with a feeling of total rejuvenation. Another way of experiencing the magic of India without having to travel around the world..only as far as Ghent!


Taking care of oneself by exercising or having treatments may sound normal but it is not always easy to find the right place where one feels at ease.

The Royal Wellness at Waterloo, built with a décor fit for a Royal Riyadh in Marrakech, is a place where luxury coupled to modern facilities takes the whole wellbeing affair to a higher level.


Just in case you still need a reminder…! - News on Brussels

Musee Magritte
The Musée Magritte Museum opened on 2 June with the largest collection of works anywhere in the world by Belgian surrealist painter, René Magritte. It’s the big moment all of us in Brussels have been waiting for. The museum will also be a unique backdrop for special events - 170 for banquets and 105 in concert-style.



Brussels Summer Festival, 14-23 August 2009
Already in its 8th edition, the Brussels Summer Festival will feature more than 150 concerts, theatre, street activities and shows for children, films, and exhibitions expositions... The programme of festivities includes rock, world music, jazz, hip hop, folk, reggae and electronic music in the city’s most attractive squares and numerous bars.


Calling all conference organisers…
SQUARE, Brussels Meeting Centre will open on 20 September 2009 and over 2000 people will once again be able to meet in the very heart of the European capital, within walking distance of shops, hotels, restaurants and the Brussels cultural scene.


Real short

Save the date: MPI’s Belgian Summer Drink will take place on Tuesday 23rd of June! Details to follow.
The 8th European SITE Education and Networking Programme (ESNEP) has been confirmed for Porto from 9 – 12 April 2010. www.portocvb.com
Consult our MICE Agenda, www.bbtonline.eu/agenda.php and don’t miss any event.
Don’t keep all the good news to yourself, send us the email address of a friend or colleague, we’ll make sure that they receive their own copy of Take 5: info@bbtonline.eu
Looking for an original venue in a quiet spot in Wallonia or the newest team building exercise? Read the OPT newsletter for more options: www.bbtonline.eu/newsletter/opt_052009
For good ideas for the weekend in Brussels, go to http://www.brusselslife.be for the hottest suggestions of fun activities, places to visit, things to do, restaurants to discover!
ICCA publishes country and city rankings 2008. After the USA, Germany Spain & France are top destinations in Europe. Paris & Vienna lead with a very fine margin from Barcelona. For full listing, go to http://www.iccaworld.com/npps/story.cfm?ID=1873
Travelcoop – representing independent travel agencies –organized a debate with representatives of all Flemish Political parties and the travel sector. The subject of the debate: Tourism, a lifeline for our economy brought some interesting points to the surface. For a full report, click here.
The fun festival Couleur Café is once again organized on June 26, 27, 28 at Tour & Taxis, Brussels; for more info & tickets, go to www.couleurcafe.be
1500 participants, 2500 visitors. 20 – 21 of June 2009. The reconstruction of the battle of Waterloo in 1815. Don’t miss this unique event, http://www.culturespaces-minisite.com/waterloo1815
Ovation Global DMC continues its global expansion with the opening of new offices in Hong Kong, Holland and Denmark. The announcement was made by Ovation Managing Directors, Patrick Delaney and Padraic Gilligan during the meeting and events show IMEX Frankfurt.
Estoril Congress Centre (Portugal) won this year’s IMEX Green Exhibitor Award.
Record attendance for IMEX 2009. Well over 3,700 hosted buyers combined with more than 5,100 unique visitors attended the Messe Frankfurt show making a total of nearly 9,000 over the three days. Records were also broken by the number of countries represented - 157 – by the 3500 companies who exhibited at IMEX this year.
The magic “22” Thalys summer! For € 22 only in 1.22 Hr from Brussels to Paris, or even less for trips to Aachen or Cologne?.. go to www.thalys.com for these unbelievable rates !
Eric Rozenberg has created Swantegy, a new way of looking at Strategic Corporate Experiences. Swantegy supports the execution of corporate sales and marketing strategies by implementing solutions from the Meetings and Events Industry and measuring their impact. www.swantegy.com
The 51th ICCA Congress will take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico in November 2012. http://www.iccaworld.com/dbs/congress2009
The 10th edition of tRaVeL! The Workshop will take place on the 10th of October 2009. Venue: Conrad Hotel, Brussels www.traveltheworkshop.be
Name change: Maison de la France becomes Atout France.
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) announced that Paul Kennedy MBE, Group Exhibition Director with responsibility for its hugely successful Meetings and Incentive portfolio of events, has decided to leave the business in mid August 2009.

The winner of AIR MALTABBT ONLINE competition. - Return flights with AIR MALTA for 2 persons + 2 nights accommodation at the Radisson SAS Bay Point Resort Malta – is Goedele Jaspers of American Express MTS.
Till August 15, Air France organizes a photography contest on the theme “Hier, Aujourd’hui et Demain”. For details go to www.airfrance.fr
British Airways plans for a transatlantic joint business with American Airlines and Iberia; along with fellow oneworld members Finnair and Royal Jordanian, they have applied for anti-trust immunity from the US DOT and are seeking regulatory approval from the European Union. Approval would establish fair competition with the other global alliances Star and SkyTeam which already have transatlantic anti trust immunity.
Air France - KLM announced a combined loss of 814 million euro’s in 2008-2009.
At the end of October 2009 Brussels Airlines' frequent flyer programme Privilege will be replaced by the Miles & More programme of the Lufthansa Group.
Ryanair reported its first annual loss in 20 years as rising fuel, lower margins and a hefty write-down on its investment in Aer Lingus took their toll.

Sofitel Le Louise Brussels just opened the fabulous terrace of the Crystal Lounge last weekend, definitely a great place to meet!
The Rezidor Hotel Group has launched a special offer for travel agents: as from today and until the end of 2009 travel agents benefit from a unique 50% discount on the retail rate in all hotels of the brands Radisson Blu, Park Inn, Country Inn, The Regent and Hotel Missoni across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
After 8 months, the free loyalty program of Accor Hotels, A|Club, has known a great start with 2.3 million holders. AIClub will now enable Meeting Planners to earn points in its hotels dedicated to meetings to the 31st December 2009.
The points can be converted into gift vouchers. www.meetings.accorhotels.com
On May 7th 2009, thousands of people in Shanghai, Paris, London and New York, participated in the world’s biggest bed-jump to celebrate the IHG Group Biggest Free Nights offer – millions of free hotel nights are given away in over 4000 hotels worldwide. Go to http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/pc/1/en/c/10/content for more details.
The Radisson Blu EU Hotel has created a special package for meeting planners. Take responsibility for health and safety, respect the society and act ethically and reduce your negative impact on the environment, these are the 3 pillars on which the new meeting package is built.
For more info, contact Anne Daix at anne.daix@radissonblu.com
Olivier Dubois has joined the 3 stars group Belgium – Hotels Astrid, Aris & Alma – as Sales & Marketing Manager, he can be reached on his mobile +32/(0)485 76 62 41. www.3starshotels.be
Fiona Marholt joins Crowne Plaza Le Palace – Brussels as new account manager with responsibilities for the UK and Belgian market.

For all those who suffer from the crisis, cheer up, even if it’s only for during 3 minutes. Every take5 edition we publish a small video clip from YouTube. Click here.

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