Public Safety

06.12.134:01 PM ET

India Tries to Bolster Tourism After Recent Attacks on Women

Visits to India by female tourists drops 35 percent in the first three months of this year after a spate of high-profile sexual attacks.

Despite the fact that the per capita rate of gang rapes that are reported to the police in India is far lower than that of many developed nations, some experts believe that the actual rate may be much higher because many rapes go unreported. The widespread protests over the gang-rape of a Delhi woman on a bus in December led to a new sexual offense law that implements much harsher punishments for offenders. Even so, the country has seen a sharp decrease in tourism, which India desperately needs to help its economy--visits by female tourists are down a whopping 35 percent in the first three months of the year, and one of the high-profile sexual attacks reported this year involved a Swiss tourist. As a result, India Tourism ministry is pressing police forces to step up surveillance of tourist spots and it's setting up a hotline that female tourists can call if they feel endangered.