India tourist numbers fall after attacks
Published 02/04/2013 | 15:45
The number of international tourists visiting India has fallen by 25 per cent following recent attacks on women, figures from Indian tour operators have shown.
A study from the New Delhi-based Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry said tourists have been scared away from the country following two widely-reported attacks on foreign women and the rape and murder of a woman in Delhi in December.
In March, the Indian parliament passed a bill containing harsher punishments for sexual assaults.
Figures gathered from 1,200 tour operators across India and released on Sunday revealed that the number of foreign travellers was down by 25 per cent, with the number of female travellers down by 35 per cent.
Nearly 72 percent of the tour operators questioned reported that the cancellations of bookings came mostly from women tourists, most of them from Britain, the United States, Canada and Australia.
They said travellers planning trips to India had decided instead to visit other countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
The months between November and March, due to the cooler temperatures, are the peak tourist season in India.
While travel in India is generally considered a safe and enjoyable experience, those travelling independently have been advised to be cautious when alone and to take into account cultural norms.
Gill Charlton, the author of our beginner's guide to India, has travelled to the country many times and has compiled some sensible advice for females travelling sol