PHNOM PENH, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia received about 1.51 million visitors from its ASEAN member countries last year, up 37 percent year-on-year, according to the statistics of the tourism ministry released on Thursday.
The figure represented 42 percent of total foreign tourists to the country last year, the report said.
Among the countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Vietnamese tourists to Cambodia topped the chart with its 763,100 citizens visited Cambodia last year, followed by Laos with 254,000 people came to the country.
Thailand came at third with 201,400 tourists, while Malaysia and the Philippines came at fourth and fifth with 116,800 tourists and 97,500 visitors respectively, it said.
In addition, last year, some 53,200 Singaporeans, 22,550 Indonesians, 4,750 Myanmar nationals, and 950 Brunei citizens had visited Cambodia.
Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, said Thursday that the growth of ASEAN visitors to Cambodia was thanks to connectivity between Cambodia and those ASEAN member states by either land or air.
He said visa exemptions among ASEAN member states are also a driving force for ASEAN people to travel from country to country in the bloc. To date, Cambodia has carried out visa exemptions with all ASEAN member states, but Brunei and Myanmar.
"More importantly, Cambodia has a lot of attractive tourist destinations," he said, adding that those include the 12th century Angkor Wat Temple, a world heritage site, and a pristine coastline stretching in the length of 450 kilometers in four Southwestern provinces.
The coastline was officially recognized as one of the World's Most Beautiful Bays in 2011.