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Safety in numbers for Indian female travellers

78% of Indian women consider the country a safe destination - but only 13% prefer to travel solo
78% of Indian women consider the country a safe destination – but only 13% prefer to travel solo

The majority of Indian women feel safe when travelling in the country, but still prefer to travel in groups, according to a new survey.

Launched to coincide with International Women’s Day, HolidayIQ’s survey revealed that 78% of Indian women consider the country a safe destination in which to travel. This proportion rises to 95% among younger women (aged between 18 and 24) but falls to just 47% among older women (55-64 years).

But despite this apparent confidence, women in India still prefer to travel in groups. The concept of  “girl gang” travelling, as defined by Holiday IQ, appears to be growing, with 40% of Indian women preferring to travel with friends or in a “gang”. A quarter still prefer to travel with their family, while just 13% said they would rather travel alone.

Indian cities generally appear to be considered safe places for women to visit, with Mumbai (considered safe by 92% of women) the top pick, followed by Bengaluru (83%), Kolkata (76%), Hyderabad (75%) and Chennai (73%).  Delhi (71%), perhaps in light of recent high-profile incidents, was considered the least safe major city.

Mumbai is considered the safest Indian city (photo by Pete Burana)
Mumbai is considered the safest Indian city (photo by Pete Burana)

But the majority of Indian women said they preferred to head out of urban areas when travelling. Sixty percent of respondents would prefer beach destinations, such as Kerala, Goa or Pondicherry, or hill stations like Manali, Ooty or Shimla.

Just 12% of women preferred city breaks and 8% chose jungle holidays.

Hari Nair, founder & CEO of HolidayIQ, said the rise of female travellers in India had the potential “to significantly alter the tourism [landscape].”

“Perhaps, women-friendly concept hotels and specialised holiday packages will surface,” Nair predicted. “The tourism industry must note, when women plan a holiday, they spend 15% more than men. Not wanting travel to be an extension of the family, independence and the exposure that comes with it, has led to the rise of the solo woman traveller,” he added.

Holiday IQ’s research follows a series of incidents that have caused to people to question the India’s suitability as a destination for solo female travellers. The survey was conducted among 20,000 female travellers in India.

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