Female tourists are calling off their India plans

India tourism
India tourism
Image: AP Photo/Kevin Frayer
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Global news coverage of the brutal gang-rape and death of a women in New Delhi in December has led to a huge-drop off in tourism across India, with a 25% fall in the number of visitors and widespread cancellations in the last three months—usually the busiest tourist season.

A survey of 1,200 tour operators by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India found that 72% experienced cancellations by women travelers, mostly from the US, Canada, and Britain. Hotels and tour operators are responding by adding security measures for women, including the creation of all-female floors and more security staff.

In the wake of the Delhi rape, there have been additional reports about sexual violence targeting tourists, including the rape of a Swiss woman who was camping with her husband, and a British woman who says she was forced to jump from her hotel balcony to escape sexual harassment by a hotel manager. The study found that those three incidents, in particular, led prospective tourists to travel instead to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam.

According to Tourism Ministry data, in 2012 about 6.6 million international tourists visited India, generating $17.7 billion.