BHUTAN, India — India’s tourism minister said on Monday that India has no problem in sharing information with Bhutan about foreign visitors.
In a Facebook post, Minister for Tourism Vijay Chaudhary said the country has no problems in sharing “information” with Bhutan about foreigners who have come to the country, in particular if they are from the same region.
The posts came in response to a question from a journalist who asked the minister whether he believes foreigners who visit Bhutan are benefiting from its tourism industry.
Chaudhry responded that while the tourism industry has benefited from the growth of the tourism sector, Bhutan’s economic growth has not.
He said the tourism and tourism related industries have benefited from investments by foreign countries.
Bhutan’s tourism ministry has been criticized in the past by rights groups for its treatment of foreigners in the country.
Last year, the ministry accused foreign tourists of “illegal” and “unethical” activities and “stealing” Bhutanese heritage.
In February, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade accused foreign nationals of “economic exploitation” in Bhutan and threatened to suspend foreign tourists.
The ministry said in its latest annual report that “in 2014, Bhutans tourism industry had reached a total of around 1.2 billion rupees ($16.9 million), of which approximately 2 billion was allocated to tourism.”
Bhutans foreign tourists have contributed an estimated $4 billion to the local economy, the report said.