World Bulletin / News Desk
Celik attended the meeting of G20 Tourism Ministers in British capital London on Monday. Speaking at the meeting, Minister Celik stated that there was a ten percent of increase in the number of tourists who visited Turkey this year when compared to last year. He added, there was a 22 percent rise in tourism revenue compared to last year, and these rises were closely related with the visa applications.
Celik noted, "In the past decade, we have lifted visa procedures with more than 30 countries, made visa agreements with more than 50 countries within the opinion of that visa exemption opens the way for tourism. Only assessing Turkey's tourism statistics shows us how correct was our visa policy and how much success we made. With the policies that we follow and the close attention that our country receives, the number of tourists who visited Turkey in the year of 2002 was under 13 million and in the ten year period, so in 2012, that increased to 35.7 million people."
Turkish minister stated that Turkish citizens who were heading abroad with extra visa facilities were increasing and this number increased from 6 million to 12 million in the 2002-2012 period. In addition, Minister Celik expressed that foreign visitors who travelled to Turkey on a visa was 62 percent meanwhile 32 percent of those travelled visa-free to Turkey. He reminded that since April 2013, there was an application of electronic visa and added, "Within the scope of that, applicants put the necessary information online and pay visa fees via credit card. There is no need for uploading anything and once the payment is received, they can download their electronic visa after receiving an e-mail quoting the link to download. With this system, nationals of more than 100 foreign countries get their visas easier and through this system, we expect a serious increase in the travel volume in Turkey. Getting a stamp visa or banderole will be lifted on April 10, 2014. That is why the use of e-visa will be more widespread."
Omer Celik also mentioned that they expect the application to be in various languages as well as they plan the use of e-visa application on smart phones. Celik added, "This practical and technology based visa application will also ease the problems occuring in the economic and security aspects."
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