Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

Female tourist arrivals to India down 35% since sex attacks

The number of female tourists travelling to India has seen a dramatic decline since the gang-rape of a student in Delhi in December and similar attacks targeting women in the intervening months, according to a report by a leading Indian trade body.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, which surveyed 1200 tour operators from across the country for the report, said inflows of women foreign tourists had fallen by 35 percent with "large numbers of cancellations" from female travellers in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

Overall tourist numbers had also fallen by a quarter, the report added.

Following the attack on the 23-year-old student on a bus in Delhi, a Swiss tourist was gang-raped in Madhya Pradesh last month before a British woman was injured trying to escape a would be sex attacker in Agra.

The Association's secretary-general, D S Rawat, said the cases had “raised concerns about the safety of female travellers to the country”, adding that tourists were looking at other destinations in the Far East.

India attracted 6.6 million overseas visitors last year, with Britons making up just over 12% of all arrivals.

The official Foreign Office travel advice warns: “Women travellers often receive unwanted attention in the form of verbal and physical harassment by individuals or groups of men”. It says “British women have been the victims of sexual assault in Goa, Delhi, Bangalore and Rajasthan,” and warns “Women travellers should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are travelling in a group”.



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