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Women tourists desert India after sex attacks: survey


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The fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old Indian student by six men on a bus in New Delhi in December sparked outrage over the country's treatment of women. Protests were demonstrated condemning the attack and demanding justice for the woman.—File Photo

NEW DELHI: The number of foreign women tourists visiting India has dropped by 35 per cent in the past three months following a spate of sex attacks that have made global headlines, a new survey has found.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) says overall tourist arrivals are down 25 per cent year-on-year, with holidaymakers opting instead to visit other Asian countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.

The fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old Indian student by six men on a bus in New Delhi in December sparked outrage over the country's treatment of women, and since then there have also been other widely reported attacks.

A Swiss cyclist was gang-raped in Madhya Pradesh last month, while a South Korean tourist was allegedly drugged and raped in the same state in January by the son of the owner of a hotel where she was staying.

These incidents have “raised concerns about the safety of female travellers to the country”, said D.S. Rawat, secretary general at ASSOCHAM, which surveyed 1,200 tour operators from different cities.

Nearly 72 per cent of tour operators reported a number of cancellations in the last three months — usually a busy tourist season — especially by female visitors from countries such as Canada, the United States and Australia.

Rawat said deteriorating standards of safety and security were the main reasons for the drop in tourists, although the global economic slowdown was also a factor.

“The situation has been further aggravated by the advisory issued by various countries to their citizens visiting India to be cautious and avoid India,” added the release from ASSOCHAM on Sunday.

The survey comes as a blow to government attempts to boost the tourism industry in a period of lagging economic growth.

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Comments (7) Closed

umesh bhagwat Apr 01, 2013 06:45am
as an indian i am ashamed of the treatment given to foreign tourists in india! Please accept my heartfelt apologies! i want to assure all my international friends that the majority of indians are a friendly and peaceful people. at the same time i would like to request women tourists to avoid going to deserted or isolated places.
Shaz Apr 01, 2013 07:43am
This is the ultimate EXPECTED outcome of the NUDITY that indian flims shows in most of their songs and scenes. More will come as they continue with their nudity business.
Humayun Bhatty (@Humayun_Bhatty) Apr 01, 2013 11:38am
Difficult to trust a country where only a handful are good, while the teeming majority are evil. I would advise people not to visit India at all. That is for safety purposes.
zzzz Apr 01, 2013 04:23pm
Well if you are from Pakistan then please don't!
Fida Sayani Apr 02, 2013 07:56am
Absolutely. Avoid India.
Wallis Apr 02, 2013 09:21am
I want the indian friends not to be hurt, my parents visited India in 1970s ,generally their is no such problems but yes some indians do have sick mind. Indian govt is not taking this issue seriously, the main problem is that status of women in India is low and they lack respect. No sensible person would like that happening in any country.
Abhijay Negi Apr 02, 2013 09:58am
And by keeping your society fully under the curtain, God alone knows what dreaded skeletons you hide in the closet.