The day is finally upon us. The kick off of Telegraph Travel’s Twitter World Cup is imminent.
While 32 nations battle it out in Russia to be crowned champions of one sport or another, we thought we’d pit the very same countries head to head to see which tops the list in terms of great travel destinations.
And what more democratic way to do so than via poll: no VAR, no extra time, and only a little corruption.
Over the next four weeks we’ll be hosting votes on our Twitter account (@TelegraphTravel), following the format of the real World Cup, with the same 32 teams that dared to qualify for Russia 2018, in the same groups.
How does it work?
Starting today, we will post a tweet featuring a poll where users will be able to vote for their favourite place to travel.
For example, today, you will have a choice between Group A contenders, Russia (hosts, but not really), Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay. The poll will remain open for 24 hours, after which we will announce the winners – first and second place – which will then go through to the knock-out stages, beginning at the end of the month.
Tomorrow, we’ll post Group B, Monday Group C, and so on.
The knock-out stages will follow the same format as the World Cup – last 16, quarter finals, semi finals and final, all decided by your vote.
You need to be logged into your Twitter account to vote. Follow the action using the hashtag #TravelWorldCup.
What am I voting on?
Belgium, England, Tunisia or Panama? That will be the choice once we reach Group G, but what is it that should decide the nation’s fates.
It’s not so much which of the countries have you been to, or wish to visit, but which you think is the most attractive for holidays, city breaks or extended explorations.
Consider which country is the most beautiful? Or most varied? Which has the most curious culture or Unesco World Heritage sites? Which has a cuisine to die for and which one to avoid? Which draws travellers in search of the unsullied and which is a must-see for everyone?
Which is the Group of Death?
In Russia, football fans would have been keen to see their nation avoid Group F, where champions Germany await, while Sweden and South Korea will both have keen eyes on the knock-out stage.
But which travel behemoths await elsewhere?
None of the eight appear a walk in the park but Group D will take no prisoners: the other-worldly appeals of Iceland take on the mystique and gauchos of Argentina, but the value and craggy beauty of Croatia won’t go quietly. Could underdog Nigeria surprise the pundits?
We also wouldn’t fancy trying our luck in Group B where perennial favourites Portugal and Spain go up against a resurgent Iran and exotic Morocco.
If you find yourself scratching your head, Telegraph Travel will no doubt be able to help, with inspiration and information on all entrants. Come the latter stages, we’ll have our experts weigh up which destination should come out on top and why.