Turkey, traditionally a top tourist destination for British holidaymakers, is abolishing its current visa rules and charges for UK tourists from 2 March 2020.
This welcome morsel of good news comes at a time when British travellers face tougher red tape when entering EU countries from 1 January 2021.
Currently, British travellers must apply online for a permit to travel to Turkey and pay US$35 (£27). A spokesman a the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara announced:
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.
The Foreign Office says:
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.
The move has been applauded by the travel industry who last year collectively sent over two million tourists to Turkey in 2019. Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said:
The removal of Turkish visa charges is fantastic news for British holidaymakers, as it means more money in their pockets.
Brits Patrick Ikhena, heads of travel at comparethemarket.com, said:
Tourists will doubtless give a thumbs up, with the present cost of the visa equating to approximately £27 at current exchange rates, and no longer having to fill out an online form before entering the country. In an age of low-cost flights to Europe, this move could entice a new crop of British tourists to visit Turkey.
TIP: Some travel insurers include Turkey in their European travel cover, while others include it in their Worldwide cover. Do check before you travel if you are covered.