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The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament has gone from a small blog contest to an international competition that’s now voted on annually by hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic supporters. The BCTV contest has been discussed on Bosnian talk shows and received praise from the popular mayor of previous winner Sibiu, generating a lot of attention that might make it seem like your entry can’t win without extraordinary resources at your disposal.

Previous BCTV winners however haven’t done anything you can’t do to win. In fact, along with a healthy dose of luck, there are a few simple methods you can use to greatly increase your chances of moving far in the tournament, putting yourself (and city) in a position to win.

sibiu romania churchQuietly Win The Early Rounds

Up to 128 cities are nominated each year and on the first day of voting 64 are eliminated from the contest by a margin often not more than 5 or 6 votes. The preliminaries plus rounds of 64 and 32 are the easiest to win – or lose – because they come so quickly in the contest’s first weeks that many people miss them altogether. (Here are the important dates for 2014’s competition.)

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Cities certainly build up momentum as the tournament progresses since eliminations mean there are fewer total places to spread votes around. Simply being mindful of the when the first rounds begin and end can get you to the more competitive rounds, where you can implement the next phase of a winning strategy.

Reach Out To Official Bodies Already Promoting Your City

Asking friends and family to vote for your city is a good idea but can only get you so far in every successive round. (Unless you have a lot more friends than most people.) Short of making thousands of new friends you can contact the government and local tourism boards already promoting the city you’ve nominated; a tactic which put Granada, Spain in the Final Four in 2013.

  • Give Them More Incentives To Help – You should mention that over 2 million eyeballs followed last year’s contest and an average of 300,000 people read foXnoMad’s posts monthly, which will feature their city if it wins, as I always visit the place voted The Best City To Visit.
  • Get Past The First Rounds First – Winning cities in previous years have saved their outreach and focus for the later rounds of the tournament.

A nicely crafted email or Facebook message to the official tourism board plus local bloggers of the city you’ve nominated (or want to help win) can get the ball rolling in your direction by bringing more people to your cause.

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Don’t Leave Your City Hanging

Nominating a city and then leaving it to its own charm puts it in a difficult position to win, especially if others are following the advice above. Be targeted in your approach so you don’t numb your friends, family, and other contacts by the later rounds when you’ll need all the support you can get. Of course, don’t neglect to vote for yourself while keeping an eye on how each round is going for your city – taking a page of of The Art of War to win any battle as the situation warrants.