Six men, charged with the gang rape of a Swiss tourist, are led to court in Datia town, Madhya Pradesh, India 30 March 2013. The 39-year-old woman and her husband were assaulted and robbed while camping near a village in the Madhya Pradesh state's Datia district two weeks ago. [Photo: SANJEEV GUPTA/CFP]
Foreign tourist inflows into India have registered a 25-percent drop in the last three months of the year in the wake of rape incidents reported in the country, according to a survey by the Assocham Social Development Foundation (ASDF).
Assocham surveyed 1,200 tour operators from different cities who cited safety and security issues and the global economic slowdown as the main reasons for the decline in foreign tourist arrivals, according to the Hindu Business Line.
Assocham says India's tourism industry has primarily been impacted by deteriorating safety and security standards. Inbound foreign tourists have opted for other Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. The situation has been further aggravated by advisories issued by various countries to their citizens visiting India to be cautious and avoid the country if possible.
The survey further highlights that from December 2012 onwards, the inflow of women foreign tourists to the country dropped 35 percent and, overall tourism had fallen by 25 percent.
The survey found that the tourism industry has suffered the most in the Delhi national capital region.
Nearly 72 percent of tour operators said in the last three months there had been a number of travel cancellations especially by women foreign tourists, mainly from the UK, the U.S., Canada and Australia.
According to Tourism Ministry data, about 6.6 million international tourists visited India in 2012 and the country, generating revenue of $17.74 billion. The ministry has set the goal of increasing foreign tourist arrivals by 12 percent a year to double the figure by 2016.