It would be safe to say that Taco Bell’s pop-up hotel experiment was a resounding success.
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The Indian government has made e-visas available for Saudi nationals, allowing them to get their permits online, without intermediaries or agents and it is hoped that these two steps will increase the number of Saudi visitors. The website for India’s Embassy in Riyadh lists the following requirements for a tourist visa for Saudis which are: a passport, a copy of the passport, two passport-sized photos, a completed application form, visa fee in cash, a copy of the Saudi ID card, proof of hotel accommodation in India, airline tickets, and a letter from employers or sponsors or a bank statement.
With the coming of the e-visa, the process gets simplified to four steps: Apply online for a visa with valid documents, pay the fee online with a debit or credit card, receive e-visa by email and finally, travel to India with a print out of the e-visa.
This decision came with the visit of the Saudi Crown prince and his two-day trip that yielded five memorandums of understanding in investment, tourism, housing, information and broadcasting. He also announced a $100 billion investment in India in areas including energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture and manufacturing. The tourism minister of the state of Kerala, K. Surendran welcomed the move to extend the e-visa to Saudi nationals and simplify travel document procedures for them, as it would boost the number of visitors thus improving tourism in the state.
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