Brits warned ahead of summer trips to Turkey

Tourists in Turkey

Britons escaping Brexit chaos for Turkey this year have been warned: expect queues, and buy a visa before you leave.

Figures from Thomas Cook show that more Brits are heading to Turkey this year, making the most of the low lira and favourable package holiday deals. Last year, 2.3 million British nationals visited the destination. This year that number is expected to be even greater.

However, the crowds heading to Istanbul's new airport have been warned to expect a few delays as the airport settles into its systems. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued the following advice: 

“We recommend that you plan to arrive at the new airport well in advance of your flight’s scheduled departure time, in case of possible delays reaching the airport and also allow for sufficient time if transiting through Istanbul given the distances between gates.”

Operations have shifted from Ataturk Airport to the new hub, which is set to serve 200 million passengers each year once it's fully up and running.

Get your visa ahead of travel

Some airlines have also issued advice over visa changes at the airport. “If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel," advises the budget airline EasyJet.

Formerly, travellers could obtain a visa at the airport. This is no longer the case. Self-service e-visa kiosks and wifi areas where visitors once applied for e-visas on arrival are no longer available, and visitors must apply before travel.

All British nationals require a visa to visit Turkey, with the exception of cruise ship passengers staying at ports for up to 72 hours.

Travel outlets and airlines warn against visa scams, websites set up to extract a hefty fee from unsuspecting travellers looking to obtain a visa. You can obtain a visa from www.evisa.gov.tr.

European exodus

The report from Thomas Cook showed that bookings to non EU-destinations have risen in the face of Brexit uncertainty and a fluctuating pound. Half of this year's holidaymakers have said they are likely to head outside the EU, compared to previous years. 

Almost half of Thomas Cook package holidays sold are for non-EU destinations, and bookings to Turkey this year have rocketed by a third.


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