Here`s what happening in 2010 30 DEC 2009: You heard it here. 2010 is the year of big anniversaries, gonzo (re)openings, parties, special events, and massive developments. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s planned for the world stage.

Hug the Earth

The event: 40th anniversary of Earth Day
The date: April 22, 2010
Why it’s a big deal: When you pick up your new desk calendar flip to April. Lots have happened since the first Earth Day back in 1970 when former US Senator Gaylord Nelson started the movement. There’s been an oil crisis, genetically modified food and global warming as examples. Now hug a tree and get ready to celebrate Earth Day.


Cheers to the XXI Olympic Winter Games

The event: The 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics
The dates: February 12-28, 2010 and March 12-21, 2010
Why it’s a big deal: It’s the second time the winter games will be hosted in Canada. The sporting events will be split between Vancouver as the main host city with Richmond and Whistler. Athletes from over 80 countries are expected to descend on our favourite snow destinations. Tickets are available from $50-$350. Order by phone call toll-free 1-800-TICKETS (1-800-842-5387) or visit

Cupid slings an arrow

The event: The 400th anniversary of Cupids, the birthplace of English Canada
The dates: August 17, 2010 - August 22, 2010
Why it’s a big deal: This tiny British settlement founded by John Guy helped spawn further British settlements inland. A fascinating site worth visiting.

Sizzling Santa Fe

The event: Santa Fe’s 400th anniversary

The dates: Year round
Why it’s a big deal: Here’s a city that boasts many accolades from the the highest capital city in the United States (try 7,000 feet above sea level) to reams of accolades from magazines like Conde Nast Traveler and Forbes Traveler. Now the city of 70,000 residents is planning a year-round birthday party. Hotels are putting together discounts and specials.

Fab Florida

The event: Tampa to get a slew of openings perfect for the family market

The dates: Vary
Why it’s a big deal: Sure Tampa’s got lots of kiddy fun but now get ready for the new state-of-the-art 53,000 sq.ft Glazer Children’s Museum set to open in 2010 and watch for the already wildly popular Busch Gardens set to welcome the gang from Sesame Street with its Sesame Street Safari of Fun.

The event: Fort Lauderdale is the new home of the world’s largest (for now) cruise ship, RCI’s Oasis of the Seas.

Why it’s a big deal: The 5,400 pax cruise line dwarfs the skyline at Cruise Terminal 18, the new home port of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.

Viva Mexico

The Event: Mexico’s Bicentennial Independence Celebrations + Centennial of Mexican Revolution
The dates: year round
Why the big deal? It’s 200 years of independence and 100 years after the big Mexican Revolution. One of Canada’s favourite sun destinations will be launching six history routes of which three will showcase military campaigns from the Independence Movement and three will retrace trails from the Mexican Revolution.


Lovin’ Lima

The event: the 475th anniversary of Lima
The date: January 17-18, 2010
Why it’s a big deal? This Spanish colonial city dubbed the “City of Kings” is planning big fireworks, music concerts and dance troupes strutting in colourful costumes.


Singapore facelift

The event: Three big hotel projects
The dates TBA 2010
Why it’s a big deal: Looks like Singapore is going head to head with the “other” gaming capital of Macau as three massive hotels are set to open. Watch for Marina Bay Sands, touted as Singapore’s first casino and resort. The multi-billion dollar development considered one of the most expensive to build in the world includes a “sky park” with gardens, lots of high-end restaurants, a museum, a mall and an uber chic swimming pool.

Over at the Fullerton Heritage Complex, which already has waterfront dining and entertainment to its newly refurbished hotel, there will be the new Fullerton Bay Hotel, a ritzy boutique property. Watch for the opening of Resorts World at Sentosa. This holiday island will be home to a Hard Rock Hotel and a Universal Studios theme park including the world's largest oceanarium and more.


A Toast to France

The event: 100th anniversary of Lutetia Hotel in Paris
The date: year round
Why it’s a big deal: Considered an Art Deco masterpiece, the Lutetia when it first opened on the Left Bank in Paris was where the glitterati of the day sojourned. Think artist Pablo Picasso and performer Josephine Baker. It’s amazing what a department store can do and how it thought of everything. Built by Bon Marche, the department store sits across the street and makes a perfect resting pad from a busy shopping day. Special centennial packages are available.

Irish eyes are smiling

The event: The 1,500th anniversary of Enniscorthy

Dates: March 6, 2010
Why it’s a big deal: This wee town carries mass appeal. The former stomping ground of St. Senan who founded the town back in 510 A.D. will get an “Enlightenment Parade” packed with groups, bands and fireworks.

The event: The 800th anniversary of Athlone Castle

Dates: Early April-Early October 2010
Why it’s a big deal: Built by King John of England in 1210, this Norman castle dominates the town centre and commands the traditional gateway to the West of Ireland. Open from Easter weekend to early October, the castle features exhibitions and audio visual presentations, including the Siege of Athlone.

Guten Tag Germany

The event: Oberammergau 2010 Passion Play
The dates: May 13 – October 3, 2010Why it’s a big deal: The religious tourism market is heating up. Ever since this Bavarian town survived the Black Plague which swept through the town in 1633, residents staged the Passion Play as a thank you and vowed that every 10 years the play shall go on. Today, thousands descend in Oberammergau to watch a play that has been performed only by locals for centuries.

The event: The Romantic Road turns 60

Dates: May-October 2010; opening ceremony May 7 and 8
Why it’s a big deal: Picture 400 km of nostalgia. The oldest holiday route in Germany --it’s purported to have spawned a series of Romantic Roads worldwide like Japan in ’82 and Brazil in ’98 -- will have revelers dressed in lederhausen and other fashion statements of the 50s for walks, bike rides and historical train rides journeying the road connecting 28 towns between Würzburg in Franconia and Füssen in the Allgäu.

The event: 200th celebration of Oktoberfest in Munich
Dates: September 18-October 3, 2010
Why it’s a big deal: The world's most famous beer festival will open its beer tents for the 200th time in history.

The event: Robert Schumann’s 200th birthday party

June 8, 2010
Why it’s a big deal: The town of Zwickau, in Saxony, celebrates a famous citizen’s 200th birthday with its annual Schumann Festival scheduled in June. Retrace composer Robert Schumann’s footsteps, stroll through the markets and beer gardens and see the composer’s birthplace.

The event: 300 years of Meissen Porcelain
January 23, 2010 is the anniversary inauguration with special exhibitions and events planned year round.
Why it’s a big deal: For fine china buffs and lovers of the blue onion design, Saxony’s other famous patron concerns the famous Meissen porcelain factory. The crossed swords the company’s signature trademark is coveted by the finest art collections around the world.

Turkish Delight

The event: Istanbul, Turkey becomes 2010 European Capital of Culture
dates: year round
Why it’s a big deal: The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year. Okay, Istanbul will share this title with Essen, Germany and Pecs Hungary. Istanbul is a big deal because the folks at ECOC say the city is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and as a result there are tons of cultural heritage sites spanning thousands of years. To boot, the city (population of approx. 13 million) is considered one of the most energetic cities in the world.


Cape Town Kick-off

The event: 19th FIFA World Cup 2010
dates: June 11-29, 2010 with the finals on July 11, 2010
Why it’s a big deal: It’s the first ever FIFA World Cup on African soil. Insiders report this World Cup will inspire hope and aspiration throughout Africa. What a better way than having celebrities like South African born Academy Award winner Charlize Theron, soccer icon David Beckham and Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, lead the charge in presenting the Final Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup a couple of weeks ago. Tickets are now available. Prices vary.

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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