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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8869
    JPY
    USD
    112.70
    GBP
    USD
    0.6894
    CAD
    USD
    1.3922
    INR
    USD
    68.241

    Rates may not be current.