Rajasthan's tourism industry is aghast at the recent molestation of two French tourists in Jodhpur, saying such incidents will impact the inflow of visitors.
"We were already feeling the pinch of recession and now this kind of incident will certainly affect the inflow of tourists to the state," said Navendu Goswami, a tour operator.
The two women said they had come to visit Jodhpur, over 330 km from the state capital Jaipur, when two youths posing as tourist guides took them to an isolated place and tried to rape them on Wednesday.
Assistant Commissioner of Police (East) Keshar Singh Shekhawat said that both the youths, identified as Zishan Khilji and Mubaraq, were arrested on charges of rape attempt and molestation.
"The two women tourists stayed in a heritage hotel in Jodhpur. They went to Mandore Garden for a stroll. The two men engaged them in a conversation. The duo offered to guide them in seeing the garden and other parts of the city," said the officer.
"The duo took the two women to nearby hills and misbehaved with them at an isolated place there...They tried to rape them... The women protested...and somehow managed to flee. They saw some labourers working nearby and approached them for help," said the officer.
A crowd gathered and beat up the duo who were then handed over to police.
"One of the youth is a college student, while the other is a cook at hotel," said the officer.
Several incidents of misbehaviour, molestation and sexual harassment with foreign tourists have been reported in various parts of the state in the recent past.
"These kinds of incidents create insecurity in the mind of the tourists. Why would they like to travel to a place which has no security," said Karan Singh, another local tour operator.
Rajasthan on an average receives 12 lakh foreign and 2 crore domestic tourists every year.
In the last few years, the desert state, a favourite tourist destination for both domestic as well as foreign tourists, has been rocked by incidents of rape and molestation of foreign tourists.
In September 2010, a tourist from Britain was allegedly molested by a schoolteacher in Bundi near Kota.