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India: Sexual assault cases badly hit tourism

 

Posted Wednesday July 06, 2016

India, Tourism, Economy, Delhi  
 
The heinous acts took place specially in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh in December last year impacted the Indian tourism industry badly not only in the National Capital Region but also in other major cities of India like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahemdabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Dehradun, Agra etc.  
HNF Correspondent  
 

The incidents of sexual assault in India’s capital city Delhi has resulted in a visible drop in the foreign tourists inflow, said a study by ASSOCHAM. As per the report of the study, there has been a significant drop of 25% in the last three months that too in the busy tourist season after unfortunate incidents of assault.

The heinous acts took place specially in Delhi and Madhya Pradesh in December last year impacted the Indian tourism industry badly not only in the National Capital Region but also in other major cities of India like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahemdabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Dehradun, Agra etc.  ASSOCHAM surveyed 1,200 tour operators from different cities and reveals that there is a fall in tourism business to the extent of 25%.  The reasons attributed are falling levels of safety and security and continuous global economic slowdown.

 

Releasing the ASSOCHAM survey on “Trends in Tourists inflow in the last three months”, Secretary General of ASSOCHAM, D S Rawat, said, “The industry has primarily been impacted due to deteriorating standards of safety and security. The in-bound foreign tourists have opted other Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam etc. The situation has been further aggravated by the advisory issued by various countries to their citizens visiting India to be cautious and avoid India.”

The survey further highlighted that the inflows of women foreign tourists to the country had gone down by 35% and the overall tourism being affected by 25% during the period from December 2012 onwards. There had been adverse impact on tourism industry, revealed the ASSOCHAM report. “The reflection of Delhi gang rape is now visible and more pronounced in other metros and large townships,” said Rawat while pointing that last year over six lakh tourists had visited various tourist destinations such as Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Kashmir valley, Goa, Mysore and Trivantapuram in the month of winter seasons. But this season, there is substantial fall of tourist arrival in India compared to last year, which has seriously impacted the inflow of foreign tourist to the “Maha Khumbh”.

“During last winter season, Goa, Jaipur, Agra, Kerala happened to be highly congested tourist spot but due to recent incidents in India, there has been substantial fall in the tourist traffic,” as reported by tourist companies and tour operators. The ASSOCHAM survey revealed that safety and security had frightened the female tourists the most.

Nearly 72% of the tour operators said that there has number of cancellation of booking taken place especially from women tourist in the last three months from the countries mainly from UK, USA, Canada, Australia etc according to tour operators.

As per majority of the tour operators said, “some tourists have e-mailed in asking whether it would be safe to travel and some have changed their mind about travelling to India this year. Those who are determined to visit India are taking extra precautions and avoiding affected areas.”

However, travel agencies routinely recommend specific safety measures for female tourists in India and tour operators always recommend that female travellers exercise vigilance and visit tourist spots within certain hours.

According to Tourism Ministry data, in 2012 about 6.6 million international tourist visited India and the country earned $17.74 billion. The ministry has set the goal of increasing foreign tourist arrivals by 12% a year so as to double foreign exchange earnings by 2016.

Rawat also said that the recent crimes against women could impact inbound tourism in long term. So, security needs to be further strengthened at major tourist places and a programme to sensitize the importance of tourism and respect for tourist be continuously held across the country.

 
 

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