Scoping Study of Safety of Women Tourists in A Special Context to Safe Tourism Destination for Women Project Initiated in Madhya Pradesh, India
The safety of women in tourism destinations is a very important aspect that is not given much attention in the policies and programmes of the government. This study extends the previous literature by investigating the motivations and obstacles faced by women travellers in a specific context. The analysis focuses on the special project initiated by the Government of Madhya Pradesh called “Safe Tourism Destination for Women in Madhya Pradesh.” All activities planned under the project include capacity building of tourism stakeholders, involvement of the local community to ensure project sustainability, maximising women’s workforce in tourism-related jobs and enterprises, self-defence training to build confidence in girls and women, convergence with other government departments, formation of peer pressure groups and clubs, involvement of Community-Based Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations in implementation, development of a support system for women traveller, and awareness generation for the safety of women tourists. These efforts have been adopted under the project. The results of the project study suggest that women’s safety cannot be considered completely resolved in the given area or geography. Behaviour-change methods, regular awareness among tourists, involvement of the local community and other stakeholders, as well as sufficient arrangements for safety and security in terms of hardware and software, are key factors in addressing the safety issues of women travellers. Additionally, having a support system in place after any incident occurs is crucial. The mapping of the current state of knowledge indicates several directions for future research in this context and the response to the safety of women travellers.
Keywords: women safety in tourism sector; gender; tourism; India; Madhya Pradesh; safe tourism destination for women in Madhya Pradesh project