Some 200,000 British tourists expected as Turkey removed from red list
Turkey had been on the red list since May, however, the British government on Sept. 17 announced that starting Sept. 22, arrivals from Turkey will no longer need to self-isolate in a designated hotel, potentially saving them thousands of pounds.
This was part of the U.K.’s wider move to overhaul its complicated “traffic light” watchlist with a simpler regime.
“We had expected this decision long ago. Some tour agencies in anticipation of this move had already been booking Turkey holidays,” said the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) in a statement.
The association noted that there will be a school break in the U.K. in September and that there is strong demand from British holidaymakers.
The U.K.-based Jet2 Holidays already started flights to Dalaman and Antalya on Sept. 23, according to the association.
“We are expecting around 200,000 Britons to visit Turkey between Sept. 22 and until the end of the year,” TÜRSAB said.
Only 85,000 U.K. citizens arrived in Turkey between January and July this year, down from 204,000 people a year ago, and well below 1.4 million people in the same period of 2019. In July, arrivals from the U.K. declined nearly 53 percent on an annual basis to around 36,000 people.
Turkey is a major holiday destination for British holidaymakers, with the resorts on the Aegean coast of the country being particularly popular among Britons.
In 2020, Turkey welcomed nearly 2.6 million U.K. citizens, up from the previous year’s 2.3 million people. Last year, however, around 821,000 Britons vacationed in Turkey due to COVID-19 restrictions.