Millennium Post

GPS equipped SIM cards for tourists: Min

Explaining the concept, Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma in an exclusive interview with Millennium Post, said: “We are working persistently towards providing foreign tourists with special SIM cards with GPS networks that will help us keep track of their movements. This will be optional as some of them might not want to use this facility. Our primary concern is the security and facilitation of every foreign tourist visiting India.”

In 2014, as many as 7.7 million foreign tourists visited India, which is a neat 10.6 per cent climb in comparison to 2013. Meanwhile, a study by India’s Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry indicated that foreign tourist visits to India had dropped by 25 per cent in the following three months post the case of the female Danish tourist being robbed and gang-raped in Delhi, last year. Tourist visits by women also fell by 35 per cent. Each time a fresh case of a foreign tourist being raped or assaulted is reported, the tourism industry, consequently, suffers adversities.

Elucidating on the measures that the government intends to undertake to ensure the safety of foreign tourists, Sharma said: “Whenever incidents of rape or sexual assaults on foreign tourists are reported, we immediately regress by several years. Acting upon our concern, we have started a helpline for them – 1363. We have also issued guidelines to help tourists, which include suggestions like not to walk about in deserted places or to note down the numbers of the vehicles they are travelling by to avoid untoward incidents.”
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