Couple in a riad in Marrakech

2020 Travel Inspiration: Not-To-Be-Missed Events & Destinations

From Africa’s First Capital of Culture to the 250th Birthday of a Famous Composer

Locking down plans on where to travel for the upcoming year can be a daunting task. The phrase, “too many places, too little time” can ring true especially if you have a limited amount of vacation and you have no idea what’s next on your travel bucket list. If you want to maximize your time in one country or city, you may want to consider visiting these 9 hot travel destinations hosting special events or receiving special recognition in 2020. And with help from an expert travel agent, you will be able to create unforgettable memories as you embark on new experiences, such as being present at an inaugural LGBTQ Pride celebration, checking out the world’s most innovative technology at a unique Expo, or attending special events to recognize a world-famous music composer.

Visit Africa’s First Capital of Culture
Marrakech, Morocco
When: All Year

Travelers who want to explore Africa for the first time should consider adding Marrakech to their itinerary. In 2020, this beautiful city steeped in tradition and rich heritage will be crowned Africa’s first Capital of Culture. And there are not-to-be-missed attractions that every tourist should add to his/her list.  Take a tour of the Medina, the center of Marrakech, to see picturesque palaces, busy markets and mesmerizing mosques. Visit the city’s largest mosque, Koutoubia; stroll through the stunning gardens of Andre Heller’s ANIMA to see natural beauty alongside works of art by Rodin and Picasso; awaken your mind, body and spirit at a traditional Moroccan Hammam; and explore spice souks and artisanal markets to shop for locally produced goods, including slippers, ceramics and rugs. A travel agent can help customize the ultimate Marrakesh vacation to include these immersive excursions. Take advantage of exclusive amenities when you book your vacation with one of our travel specialists and stay at a SELECT hotel or resort in Marrakech, such as the La Sultana Marrakech, Royal Mansour Marrakech, Mandarin Oriental Marrakech, or the Amanjena.

Namaskar Palace, Marrakech, Morocco
namaskar palace, marrakech, morocco

Celebrate 75 Years of Freedom
The Netherlands
When: April & May

From a boat ride through its serene maze of canals to an immersive guided tour of the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam has a history that’s waiting to be discovered for first-time visitors. “The Dam” and numerous cities and towns in The Netherlands will be celebrating 75 years of freedom since the end of World War II. With help from a trusted travel agent, travelers can use the country’s excellent train network to explore a host of celebrations in stunning cities and get more bang for your euros. In just April and May alone, the country will host 3 blockbuster events: Kingsday (April 27 - Amsterdam), Liberation Day (May 5 - Entire Country) and the Eurovision Song Contest (May 12-16 - Rotterdam). And you can’t leave the country without a picturesque ride along the country’s growing network of more than 21,000 miles of bike paths to explore attractions beyond cities, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea. Fun excursions mixed with visiting historic landmarks can be carefully added to your customized itinerary when you let one of our expert travel advisors help you plan your dream vacation in the Netherlands. 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
amsterdam, netherlands

The Passion Play
Oberammergau, Germany
When: May 16 – Oct. 4, 2020

The Passion Play originated in 1633, when citizens of the Bavarian village of Oberammergau decided to re-enact Christ’s story to ward off the plague. For nearly 500 years, this timely play enlists more than 2,000 local actors, musicians and singers to participate in the performances. And now you can experience this once-in-a-lifetime event. One of our trusted travel agents will customize your trip itinerary to include other nearby cities in Germany, such as Munich, or other European destinations to create the ultimate dream vacation.

Oberammergau, Germany
oberammergau, germany

Pride of the Americas 2020
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
When: April 21-26, 2020

In 2019, New York City not only celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, but the Big Apple also hosted World Pride for the first time. In 2020, LGBTQ travelers should prepare to pack their bags for the inaugural celebration, Pride of the Americas in Fort Lauderdale. Hundreds of thousands of people from Alaska to Argentina are expected during the international celebration that will include an arts festival, concerts, a parade, and special workshops. Work with one of our LGBTQ travel advisors to help make your stay in this popular beach town and your first-time at Pride of the Americas an unforgettable experience. Stay at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale or the W Fort Lauderdale – just steps away from all the action.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
fort lauderdale, florida, united states

Salzburg Festival Centennial
Salzburg, Austria
When: July 19 - Aug. 30, 2020

The Salzburg Festival (Salzburger Festspiele) will mark its 100th anniversary in 2020. The prominent 5-week festival of music and drama is held in the city where composter Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. So, it’s no surprise why this has been a popular event for classical music lovers. Venues located in Salzburg’s historic center will offer exhibitions, concerts, plays, readings and Mozart matinees.  Our travel agents will do their best to make sure you’re centrally located to all the scheduled events. Consider staying at one of our SELECT Hotels & Resorts such as the Hotel Sacher Salzburg, Golden Hirsch, and Hotel Stein. Get special SELECT perks when you book your vacation with us, such as a $100 hotel credit. And don’t forget to see Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s Jedermann, based on a medieval morality play and performed in Domplatz.

Salzburg, Austria
salzburg, austria

2020 Summer Olympics
Tokyo, Japan
When: July 24 - Aug. 9, 2020

Root for your favorite county as more than 10,000 athletes from all around the world converge on Tokyo to compete in XXXII Summer Games. An expert travel advisor will not only book your trip, but can also help you score tickets to watch some of the world’s best athletes in action, including Women’s Gymnastics World Champion Simone Biles. It’s speculated that she’ll be one of several people to win one or more of the 5,000 medals to be handed out for the 33 sports that will include a few sports making their debut: skateboarding, karate, surfing and climbing. Consider staying at one of our SELECT Hotels & Resorts such as The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, Andaz Tokyo, Grand Hyatt Tokyo or The Peninsula Tokyo. One of our Tokyo travel specialists will make sure you’re near the center of all the action and ensure you have an opportunity to explore the city through exclusive VIP excursions.

Tokyo, Japan
tokyo, japan

200 Years of Statehood
When: July 30 – Oct. 12, 2020

Plan a trip to explore Maine as New England’s largest state celebrates its bicentennial through a series of events throughout the year hosted in multiple cities and towns, including Bangor, Portland and Augusta. Plan your fun family vacation around one or more of the 5 major events: Bicentennial Kickoff, Statehood Weekend, the Bicentennial Parade, Summer Coast Festival, and the Grand Finale Weekend. And if you’re looking for a more intimate getaway, our travel agents can plan a quiet couple’s retreat with the option to attend some scheduled celebratory events or to escape the crowds amid the state’s lush forests (think Acadia National Park) or on its lighthouse-strewn coastline (think Kennebunkport). And don’t miss out on Maine’s exploding culinary scene, including its farm-to-table restaurants, artisanal bakeries and craft brewers.   

Portland, Maine
portland, maine, united states

World Expo 2020
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
When: Oct. 22, 2020 – April 10, 2021

For 173 days, Dubai will host the World Expo 2020, touted as “the greatest show on Earth.” This expo will highlight music, technology, culture, and creativity, and also feature more than 200 restaurants, world-famous chefs and global cuisines. Just imagine 192 country pavilions showcasing the latest visions in sustainability and mobility, which includes being the first to test out the high-speed Hyperloop on a 6-mile stretch of track.  And with 60 live shows scheduled 7-days a week, there won’t be a shortage of things to do and see at this epic 6-month event. And even if you skip the World Expo, you should visit the new Museum of the Future scheduled to open in 2020 as well as a new Europe-themed fantasy resort on an artificial archipelago called The World, gearing up to welcome its first guests to such only-in-Dubai experiences as underwater bedrooms and year-round snow. Reap the benefits of staying at one of our SELECT Hotels & Resorts such as the Raffles Dubai, Habtoor Palace, Palazzo Versace Dubai, or the Bulgari Resort Dubai.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
dubai, united arab emirates

Celebrate Beethoven’s 250th Birthday
Bonn, Germany
When: Dec. 16, 2020 – Dec. 17, 2020

Once the capital of West Germany, Bonn is stepping back into the spotlight as it prepares for a year of scheduled events to celebrate the 250th birthday of its hometown music genius Ludwig van Beethoven. Music aficionados traveling to the city can expect a multitude of exhibitions and events, including a year-long lineup of concerts with world-famous orchestras, soloists and conductors. Local venues such as the newly renovated Beethovenhalle, the city’s premier concert hall, will host several of the planned festivities. Work with a travel agent to create your dream itinerary for Bonn, and include a performance of Fidelio, the composer’s only opera.

Be a part of history and let one of Vacation’s on-call travel experts match you with a travel agent, who can help you plan the ultimate dream vacation to witness one or more of these epic celebrations, events or historic travel destinations in 2020.

Beethoven's Birthplace in Bonn, Germany
beethoven's birthplace in bonn, germany