Female tourists are avoiding India and canceling trips there after violent rapes made headlines around the world, according to a business association based in New Delhi.
The number of tourists coming to India has fallen 25% since December, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India found in its recent survey of 1,200 tour operators around the country -- a trend that frustrates government plans to ramp up the number of tourists by 12% every year.
Women are even more likely to steer clear of India: The flow of female travelers has plunged 35% as women from Britain, Canada and the United States scrap tours they had already booked, local businesses told the group. Many said tourists had sent them emails wondering whether traveling in India was still safe.
“India attempts to enhance its image in the eyes of foreign tourists,” D.S. Rawat, secretary general of the association, said in a statement published on the group's website. Instead, the reported attacks have “raised concerns about the safety of female travelers to the country.”