THE Turkish government on April 17 launched an e-visa service, coinciding with the peak outbound April-July season for Indians travelling to Turkey, in the hopes of attracting more tourists.
The e-visa system will run concurrently with the visa-on-arrival facility and the same qualifying criteria applies to both – Indian citizens only qualify if they hold a valid Schengen visa, a visa from an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member country or a valid residence permit from these countries.
Those who do not qualify must apply through the local embassy.
E-visas can be printed out and used 24 hours after application and the US$20 fee is only processed upon approval.
Also available in 93 other countries, Özgür Aytürk, culture and tourism counsellor, Turkish Embassy New Delhi, said the service made visa application “much easier and quicker”, and feedback had found the system to be easier for travel trade players as well.
He said: “It is hoped that this e-visa facility, along with our new aggressive digital campaign, a localised and upcoming website, and the forthcoming joint marketing campaigns with key tour operators in India, will give us a 25-30 per cent increase in (arrivals for) 2013.”
Last year, 91,000 Indians visited Turkey, a 24 per cent rise over 2011.