When it comes to travelling, Ahmedabad is definitely the favourite amongst women as far as safety is concerned. For that matter, according to a latest survey by TripAdvisor, Ahmedabad toppled Mumbai to gain the title of the ‘Safest City’ for women travellers with over 85 per cent votes.
Travel site TripAdvisor’s annual Women Travel Survey 2014, further revealed that Delhi retained its reputation as the most unsafe city amongst the top 10 Indian cities polled. Rather the number of women who felt so actually increased from 84 per cent in 2013 to 95 per cent in 2014. Kolkata (64 per cent) and Jaipur (53 per cent) ranked second and third respectively.
The survey covered cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Surat, Pune and Jaipur.
The top three cities in India voted the safest for women travellers to travel include Ahmedabad (86 per cent), Pune (84 per cent) and Bangalore (81 per cent). Mumbai (with 72 per cent votes) has dropped to the fifth spot this year from the number one position in 2013.
Interestingly, the survey highlights that despite safety being a prime concern, over 51 per cent respondents were not aware that hotels in India and abroad have floors exclusively for women. Yet given a choice, over 72 per cent women would like to stay at such hotels while travelling solo or in an all women group.
The survey also revealed that among the 63 per cent respondents who have never travelled alone, 33 per cent felt that it was unsafe for a woman to travel alone in India. Nearly, 47 per cent respondents said they took leisure trips as part of a ‘group of women’ versus 35 per cent who travelled solo in the last two years. Moreover, out of 37 per cent women who have travelled solo at least once in their life, 53 per cent said they travel alone only to destinations (India or abroad) that are perceived as ‘safe’.
However, whether travelling alone or in a group of women, majority of the respondents preferred travelling to a ‘city’ as it offers a higher sense of security, law and order. Hill stations and beaches were the second and third choices respectively.
The Women Travel Survey 2014, that collected from 1068 women respondents, is now in its second year is aimed at understanding the travel sentiment and preferences of Indian women with respect to leisure travel while travelling as a single woman or as part of an all-women group. “The survey saw a mix of respondents with majority being ‘working professionals’ followed by ‘self employed’ and ‘homemakers’. Nearly 40 per cent of the respondents were in the age group of 25-35 years followed by 27 per cent in the 35-45 years and 17 per cent in the 45-55 years bracket,” a statement here said.
Nikhil Ganju, country manager, TripAdvisor India “An encouraging proportion of women in India have started to travel by themselves, or in all-women groups. What is discomforting is their preference for overseas destinations as opposed to India, from a safety perspective. It is imperative that this perception of India changes soon, to encourage more women travellers to get out there and experience the country.”