Faced with negative publicity over incidents of crime against foreign tourists, government will encourage people involved in tourism sector to wear badges with slogan “I Respect Women” as an image makeover exercise.

The aim, Tourism Ministry officials say, is to show that majority of people here do not support crime against women so that it inspires confidence among foreign visitors.

“People involved in tourism sector including tour operators, guides, taxi and auto drivers, hoteliers and other stakeholders will be asked to wear “I Respect Women” badges,” said a senior Tourism Ministry official.

Besides Hindi and English, the metal badges will be in nine international languages, like Chinese, French, Korean, Japanese, Arabic and Russian.

To begin with all state Tourism Ministers and officials including Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi will wear the badges tomorrow at the State Tourism Ministers meeting here.

“We have made a few sample badges here which will be distributed at the conference tomorrow,” the official said.

Tourism Ministry is of the view that incidents of assault on foreign women has led to negative publicity and it is causing harm to India’s tourism sector.

“Our aim is to show that majority of people here do not support crime against foreign women and there is respect for women in the country,” the official said.

As per the decision, all states will be told to make these badges and distribute them among the people involved in the tourism sector.

There are tourist places like Goa where many Russian tourists come so the badges will have English and Russian language. Similarly Dharamshala will have French and English language badge and Bodhagya and other Buddhist places will have Chinese, Korean and Japanese language badges.

It was suggested at the National Tourism Advisory Council (NTAC) meeting that people in the tourism trade who come into contact with tourists should wear badges saying “I Respect Women.”

Meanwhile, a day long national conference of State Tourism Ministers will be held here tomorrow. The conference will be inaugurated by Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi.

The conference will deliberate on issues related to safety and security of the tourists, clean India campaign, rationalisation of taxes, completion of infrastructure projects and timely issue of licences to the hotels.

The conference will also discuss sustainable tourism and carrying capacity of destination, constitution of regional promotional councils and single window clearances for film shootings.

(This article was published on July 17, 2013)
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