Turkey: Britons to benefit from cheaper holidays as government scraps tourist visa

British tourists are about to benefits from a new change in Turkish immigration regulations as the country decided to drop the need for UK residents to obtain a visa. As it stands, Britons currently must secure a tourist visa before travelling to the country, however, this is about to change.


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As of March travel to the country will become even easier for tourists from the European Schengen area and the UK.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara released a statement saying: “As of 2 March 2020, Turkey has decided to exempt visa requirements for the members of the European Union Schengen area, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland as well as the United Kingdom citizens for touristic travels to Turkey for every 90 days within 180 day period.

“This step aims at increasing our tourism potential with these countries as well as further developing our trade, economic and cultural relations.”

Once the new rules are in place later this year, it offers an opportunity for travellers to save money on their holiday.

In fact, for a family of four, the saving could be as large as £100.

Currently, tourists must qualify for a visa, setting them back around £30 before they can jet off to the holiday hotspot.

Though this rule will be abolished within the next few weeks, Britons heading to the country before March 2 will still need to apply for a visa.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office still advises Britons that they will need a visa to travel until the rule comes into place.

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A statement on its website reads: “British nationals need a visa to travel to Turkey, except for some cruise ship passengers arriving at seaports for visits of up to 72 hours.

“If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel.

“Make sure you use the official e-Visa website so you get a genuine visa without paying additional fees.”

The Foreign Office adds: “The Turkish government advise that your passport should be valid for at least six months from the date you enter Turkey and that there is a full blank page for the entry and exit stamps.”


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Turkey is growing in popularity year-on-year amongst British holidaymakers, with the latest ABTA Travel Trends reports revealing that the country saw a double-digit boost.

This is largely thanks to reliably enjoyable weather, good deals and package holidays.

A report published by Thomas Cook in 2019 found its sales of flights to Turkey went up by 27 percent compared to 2018

This was enough to make Turkey the most popular destination for Thomas Cook customers, ahead of Greece and Spain.

An ABTA spokesperson said: “It’s welcome news that UK holidaymakers travelling to Turkey after 2 March 2020 will now no longer have to obtain a visa.

“Getting an e-visa is a straight forward process, but it will still be one less thing to do before going away and give a boost to this already popular holiday destination for Brits.

“With the visas costing around £30 per person, this bonus will add up to a free Turkish meze and baklava to finish courtesy of the government, especially with exchange rates currently being favourable.”

Meanwhile, Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays added: “The removal of Turkish visa charges is fantastic news for British holidaymakers, as it means more money in their pockets.

“Turkey is one of our most popular destinations, and this news makes it much easier for hard-working British families to enjoy a well-deserved holiday to this beautiful country.”

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