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 China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.