News / Economy

Gang Rape of Danish Tourist Impacts India Tourism

An Indian policeman stands outside the police station which is investigating the gang-rape of a Danish tourist in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.
An Indian policeman stands outside the police station which is investigating the gang-rape of a Danish tourist in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha
The recent gang rape of a Danish tourist in the Indian capital has again focused attention on sexual violence against women in India and heightened perceptions that the country is unsafe as a travel destination. 
 
Days after the incident, which occured close to a popular market in the heart of New Delhi, the city’s police chief, B.S. Bassi, gave a brief message.
 
He said the city’s police force is taking every possible step to keep people safe.

Tourists wary

But this has failed to reassure international travelers heading to India.
 
On Thursday, the British Foreign Office issued an advisory cautioning its citizens about travel to the country.
 
Indian investigators visit a spot which police say is where a Danish tourist was gang-raped in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.Indian investigators visit a spot which police say is where a Danish tourist was gang-raped in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.
x
Indian investigators visit a spot which police say is where a Danish tourist was gang-raped in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.
Indian investigators visit a spot which police say is where a Danish tourist was gang-raped in New Delhi, India, Jan. 15, 2014.
The 51-year-old Danish woman was a so-called backpacker tourist who was robbed, beaten and gang raped at knife point as she stopped to ask for directions to her hotel. Three men have been arrested in connection with the assault.
 
In December 2012, the brutal gang rape of an Indian physiotherapy student in New Delhi underlined the huge issue of sexual violence targeting women. Since then there have been reports from across the country of similar crimes.
 
Among the targets of sexual assaults have been some foreign tourists, including those from the United States, Switzerland and Britain.   
 
Tourism industry officials say the reports of rapes have tarnished India’s image in the past year and heightened fears among women tourists heading to the country.
 
An advisor to the Travel Agent Association of India, Rajinder Rai, fears the latest gang rape will aggravate a slowdown being experienced by the industry.
 
He said similar to how Iraq got associated with bombings, India is unfortunately getting associated with rapes.
 
“If you get headlines every month, obviously it has got to have a huge impact on inbound tourism, that is already very discernible. It is impacting the overall credibility of the country as a safe country,” said Rai.

International tourist arrivals to India grew only marginally last year, increasing by three percent compared to six percent in 2012 and nine percent in the previous year.
 
 
Hiring security guards


In the last year, some foreign tourists have even started hiring security guards as they travel through the country. Denetim Services is one such company offering bodyguards for tourists.
 
Anubhav Khiwani of Denetim said business has been thriving since the reports of sexual assaults heightened fears that traveling in India is not safe. He said most business comes from tourists in Western countries and cites a recent query that came from a group of four women wanting to visit India in March.  
 
“The e-mail I have received today clearly states that they have traveled to the Middle East, China and Africa and they have not faced any problems. But they are feeling slightly more scared about India, specifically after what happened two days back,” stated Khiwani.
 
Director of the Indian Association of Tour Operators Gour Kanjilal said crimes happen in big cities all over the world. He said the sexual crimes are “aberrations” but are giving a bad name to the country.

“It hampers our future tourist movements. They [tourists] are asking how safe it will be, what steps government is taking," Kanjilal said. 
 
In the past year the government has tightened laws for such crimes and made efforts to ensure swifter justice to the victims in India’s slow moving legal system.
 
Last month, three men were convicted for gang raping an American tourist in June and in August six men were given life imprisonment for a similar attack on a Swiss tourist.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: LD from: U.S.
February 02, 2014 1:23 PM
I've lived in India for eight months, working on a U.S./India grant. I was careful and, yes, I travelled alone, but I found the Indian people (men & women) to be warm and helpful. I also wore, for the most part, salwar kamezes, which I think makes things easier. I do know, however, that things do happen to foreign and local women in India, and that's what I'd like to address.
First, this article says an American woman was raped by three men, but it neglects to mention they were from Nepal and living in HP. At any rate, all women in India need more safety and that's when tourists will feel safer. To have that happen, education, job opportunities, better informed/trained police, and male citizens who do not tolerate any form of eve teasing (etc.) by their fellow men will help. There must be more of a culture of respect for all women, regardless of what they are wearing (which is often used as a feeble excuse for unwanted attention), and Indian men must call out other men who are not treating women or girls well. They must be active and show other men that inappropriate behavior is not what a man of any type does.
Then, police need to be better trained--and in international cities like Delhi--more global. I did meet a highly educated, well spoken man on a train who was thinking of becoming a police officer. That is an example of who is needed, but not just in India but everywhere.
Let me say that go to India as a woman alone and be smart about how you dress and where you go. Don't let these tragic (and relatively infrequent) incidents keep you from this amazing country. Know, however, that even in urban places you must be careful.


by: Ishida Yurikoh from: Ennius, TYO
January 17, 2014 11:55 PM
I think that treatment for women in the countries reflect the cultural level of the countries, so The rape problems in India means there is no cultural background for Indian people. They are just animals.

In Response

by: Kelly Langford from: Palo Alto,Ca
January 18, 2014 12:58 PM
Oh really ishida? I have gone to india several times and majority of the people are very kind and humble. So, stop stereotyping the whole country. What about Japan? You forgot how your country raped chinese women and korean women. You forgot that? You did more horrible crimes toward women then the indians. Have a comment? History below hypocrite.

Nanking fell to the Japanese. In the next six weeks, the Japanese committed the infamous Nanking Massacre, or the Rape of Nanking, during which an estimated 300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians were killed, and 20,000 women were raped.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7722
JPY
USD
107.08
GBP
USD
0.6171
CAD
USD
1.1041
INR
USD
61.075

Rates may not be current.