Tourism in India is helping to empower women by providing unique employment opportunities, reveals the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2016, in association with Euromonitor International.
The noticeable trend highlights a more positive attitude to women in the country, which has had to deal with a number of high-profile incidents of crimes against women – both tourists and locals.
Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Tourism is often seen as an ideal entry point for women in India to join the formal economy, by providing access to opportunities and improving quality of life.
“A growing number of companies are offering women-only services or employing women in roles that were previously largely held by men.”
With the safety of female travellers in India in the spotlight, transport companies have started to provide female taxi-driver services. One example is She-taxi, which operates in Kerala for female-only clients, using women-only drivers.
In a bid to satisfy demand, a project called Women on Wheels has been established to boost the number of female breadwinners in the family by training to become professional drivers.
Another project, called Stand Up India, has been launched by the Indian government to supply loans to women to create their own businesses.
And, in celebration of International Women’s Day in 2016, Air India Flight 173 flew from Delhi to San Francisco with an all-female crew, making it the longest flight staffed entirely by women in history.
There has also been a rise in Indian travel clubs and tours for women, such as Women on Wanderlust and Girls on the Go, which organise all-women trips all over the world.
In addition, a number of safety apps have been developed for women in India, such as Ridesafe, which offer tracking, emergency messaging and route deviation detection.
Rural tourism in India can be particularly empowering for women as it has the potential to diversify employment opportunities based on local tourism assets, the report says.
WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press, said: “Although travel and tourism in India is still male-dominated, it is good to see this is slowly changing through different initiatives and government support.”
WTM London is the event where the travel and tourism industry conducts its business deals. Buyers from the WTM Buyers’ Club have a combined purchasing responsibility of $22.6 billion (£15.8bn) and sign deals at the event worth $3.6 billion (£2.5bn).