Malaysia welcomed a record of over 25 million foreign tourists last year, a year-on-year increase of 1.3 percent, according to the Tourism Ministry.

Tourist receipts were 60.6 billion ringgit compared to 58.3 billion ringgit (19.5 billion) in the previous year, Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen said.

Ng said in the regional market, tourists from the Philippines, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Brunei and Cambodia rose between 1.4 per cent and 40.5 percent.

However, arrivals from Thailand and Singapore dropped slightly.

Visitors from Iraq, Nepal, Bangladesh, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Russia, the United States, Denmark, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland, Canada and Italy also increased.

This year, the country's target is to bring in 26 million tourists, the Minister said, adding that this is a preparation year for Visit Malaysia Year 2014.-VNA