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Turkey e-visa could provide a boost to tourism

Tourists travelling to Turkey this summer will be able to apply online for an e-visa, in a move that could potentially boost tourist numbers to the country.

Specialist tour operator Anatolian Sky Holidays argued that the decision to introduce electronic visas was a ‘positive move’, arguing that tourists currently have to spend lengthy periods of time in visa queues. From April 10th visitors to the country will be required to apply at the Turkish government’s website evisa.gov.tr for a 90-day multiple entry electronic visa ahead of their break to the country. This will replace a system that saw tourists wait in line for a visa stamp costing £10.

Commenting on the e-visa, Anatolian Sky managing director Akin Koc, who is also chairman of the Association of Turkish Specialist Tour Operators, said: “I welcome the change because the client will have extra time when they arrive at the airport and it will be a hassle-free start to their holiday.”

Tourists will need to provide their name, date and place of birth, email address and passport details when applying for the e-visa and will be required to print out the £10 visa at home. They will then present their visa on arrival to immigration to Turkey. According to one immigration official: “The entire process takes less than 10 minutes and it will speed up the whole visa application and processing system.”

Despite the positive development of the e-visa the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has warned that some unauthorised websites may attempt to charge additional fees for the e-visas. “Some unauthorised websites may charge for information about e-visas, and for submitting applications,” it said. “These websites are not endorsed by or associated with the Turkish government. Be wary of such sites and businesses, particularly those that seek additional fees for other services.”

An ABTA spokeswoman also expressed concerns that some consumers may not be aware of the changes: “Turkey is an extremely important destination for our members and we are concerned that consumers, particularly those who have not booked through ABTA members, may not be aware of the new requirement and may as a consequence be refused entry to Turkey.” If you are heading off on holiday it is important to secure travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 14 January 2014

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