Safe Haven – Mumbai voted safest Indian city for women travelers

Some cities and countries in general get a bad rap for attitude and experience of women travelers.  India is one of those destinations – you either have a really amazing experience or a shocker.

I have had a couple of short and sharp trips to India – Goa, Delhi and Mumbai –  in recent times and have always enjoyed my time there. I have even booked a quick trip to Chennai later this month. Granted I have mostly stayed in five star hotels and benefitted from the amazing local knowledge and connections of friends, but have found myself comfortable and welcome. And of course, there is the food. 

Tripadvisor issued it’s Solo Women Traveller Survey and the results for India were interesting and reflect the experience, attitudes and expectations of Indian women travelers.

Mumbai, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in India, emerged as the city considered safest by solo women travelers, with the majority vote of 34 per cent, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru came second with 12 per cent votes each.

Due to the recent spate of crimes against women, the national capital Delhi has gained notoriety with 84 per cent women claiming it to be the most unsafe metropolitan and major city in the country.

The survey was conducted among 500 Indian women. According to the travel site, 84 per cent women claimed to have travelled alone for leisure, business or both. The survey also brought to light that 94 per cent of the respondents worried about their safety, always or at least sometimes, when they travelled alone in India. Nearly 34 per cent women indicated they loved travelling alone as it was adventurous and exciting. Another 32 per cent  said the thrill of managing everything by themselves was the motivator as well.

Interestingly, 78 per cent respondents said they would prefer to stay in an all-woman’s hotel or on a women exclusive floor in a hotel, when travelling alone.

You can see the full report here Tripadvisor India Survey

Enchanting India

Enchanting India

Room With a View…of the carpark

Hotels often have hilarious ideas of what constitutes a “safe” room for a single woman traveling alone.

I was once given a room, far from the elevator, so far in fact I actually got lost looking for it. This hotel had a lovely view from most of its rooms of a nearby temple. No such luck for the traveling lady.

I got a view of the car park.

When I questioned this, I was told it was a “quiet and safe” room. Had there been a fire, the trail of breadcrumbs I left to find my way back would have been toasted. And if by quiet you mean there was literally no one within a five room radius, yeah that succeeded.

I was quickly moved, but it does highlight the issue that in many hotel chains, a “safe” room means away from the hustle of the hotel. Which is a nice concept in principle.

But in reality, the closer I am to the elevator and to people, the safer I feel. Not just for the fire issue, but also it means I am in my room faster.

Some hotel chains, like  Hyatt, have been making a concerted effort in recent times to cater to the needs of the single traveler. They will give you a room close to the elevator (which you can also specify on booking as well as have it noted on your Gold Passport loyalty program profile).

Some hotels, like Bella Sky have women-only floors. Which may be going to the extreme, but it does enhance the sense of safety.

What do you think? What is your idea of “safe and quiet”?