With rape cases rising, they fear image of country will take a blow
NEW DELHI: Upset over the incidents of rape and molestation of foreign tourists, the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) has urged the government to prepare a list of dos and don’ts for foreign tourists and put it up at airports, railway stations and bus stops, and, if need be to print advisories on boarding passes and railway tickets.
“Tourists should be advised to hire guides from accredited groups. There should be special travel guidelines for women travellers. They should be asked not befriend strangers,” said Subhash Goyal, IATO president.
The tourism ministry has also written to the Uttar Pradesh government to provide better security to tourists, especially near Taj Mahal, which drew about 13 lakh foreign tourists last year.
“Such ugly incidents not only affect tourism but also eat into the job opportunities which the industry generates,” said Goyal.
Sadly, the women foreign tourists DNA spoke to expressed fear about travelling alone in the country. “There seems to be a general feeling among Indian men that a woman from the West is easily available,” said Jannelie Brink of Holland.
But even though three guides were arrested in Agra on Monday for raping two Japanese tourists, several women foreign tourists feel safe with their “guides”. Brink agrees that the guides hired by reputed places may be safe, but bagpackers should be cautious.