It's the culmination of carnival season this weekend and the following Monday, with towns and cities across Europe gearing up for one final party and, of course, the world's biggest party in Rio de Janeiro. On March 9, ITB Berlin begins in Germany, welcoming everybody who's anybody in the travel world to a packed exhibition and conference in the Berlin Messe.
Venice Carnival final weekend
March 4 - 8
Venice's carnival is all about masquerade - some of the most stunning and strange creations are seen every year in the glamorous final days of the event. Visitors can enjoy music, dancing and a wide range of other lavish cultural events.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The world's largest street party returns to Rio de Janeiro, with millions of locals and tourists expected to visit the Brazilian city for "the greatest show on Earth." The biggest event, the Samba School parades, occurs March 6-7.
Rose Monday traditionally sees the crescendo of Germany's carnival season, with millions of locals and tourists expected to be out in force for events up and down the country. The largest carnival in Germany is normally held in Cologne, where a 6-kilometer-long procession takes to the streets in a dazzling array of costumes.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mardi Gras is one of the largest, most famous and most spectacular parties in the world, drawing hundreds of thousands of revelers each year. The event completely takes over the city of New Orleans as parades, floats and Dixieland jazz bands clog the streets, especially for the actual Mardi Gras day, aka Fat Tuesday, on March 8 this year. The fun starts on February 25 and ends with gala balls.
45th ITB Berlin
March 9 -13
The world's largest travel show returns, bringing the global tourism industry together under the roof of the enormous Berlin Messe hall. Known as a launchpad for new tourism products, the place where big announcements are made and an indicator of key trends in the tourism industry, ITB Berlin welcomes some 110,000 members of the industry before the doors are thrown open to the public on March 12.
Kyushu Shinkansen opens
Japan's fastest ever bullet train runs at speeds of over 300km/h between Fukuoka and Kagoshima on Kyushu island in southern Japan. The new line makes it possible to travel between the major cities of Osaka and Kagoshima in just four hours.
Space Tourism and Travel Summit
Believe it or not, this isn't a joke - as companies edge ever closer to the first space flights on board commercial ships, the industry will be discussing what the future holds at a conference in Bulgaria. The guest of honor is Story Musgrave, a former NASA astronaut.
1st Istanbul Shopping Festival
March 18 - April 26
Turkish authorities hope to steal some of Dubai's limelight as an international shopping destination with the launch of this festival, which has been heavily promoted all over the world. Several of Istanbul's shopping areas will be open 24 hours a day throughout the duration, while cultural events will also be on offer to break up the shopping.
Vision Airlines' new routes open
Vision Airlines is one of the newest low-cost carriers in the US and is slated to begin operating a slew of new flights March 25 as it seeks to compete with the big boys. Most connect underserved locations with Florida destinations.
1st International Tourism Conference - Jerusalem 2011
March 29 - 31
Prominent figures from the tourism industry are set to meet in Jerusalem at the end of March for the inaugural International Tourism Country, which Israel hopes will offer an insight into the way tourism operates in our rapidly changing world. Speeches and seminars will focus on themes such as sustainable development, technology and tourism and the future of hotel design.