Hotel occupancy rates in Birmingham reached new record heights in the first half of the year.

The total occupancy was 73 per cent in the first six months of 2015 - the best half-year results since records began in 2007.

The figures are a six per cent increase compared with the same period in 2014 and higher than all other major UK cities for that period.

Marketing Birmingham's Regional Observatory has released the data which was collated by travel research company STR Global.

Occupancy peaked at over 96 per cent on June 9, thanks to the one-day international cricket fixture between England and New Zealand at Edgbaston Stadium.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR) in Birmingham has also shown consistent growth in 2015, according to the data, reaching its highest point in January with a £6 rise compared with the same month in 2014.

This increase has been driven by major music events and conferences.

Noticeable contributory events include musician Ben Howard's concert at the Barclaycard Arena in April, which pushed hotel occupancy up by 62 per cent.

In the same month, The Shale Gas World Conference at the ICC, a two-day event previously held in Manchester, saw weekday occupancy rise from 60 per cent to 87 per cent.

Pictures: Hotel developments in Birmingham

The increasing average length of stay of UK visitors was another key contributory factor to the strong performance figures as well as the continued growth of international passenger arrivals at Birmingham Airport.

Emma Gray, director of marketing and communications for the city's leisure and business tourism programmes Visit Birmingham and Meet Birmingham, said: "We continue to attract record numbers of visitors with 34 million people coming to the region each year - as a result our hotel industry is booming.

"We've seen a high-profile programme of events in the first half of the year, ranging from sporting activity to global music performances.

"As Birmingham continues to invest in its leisure offer, it is good to see the hotel industry benefiting. Whether visitors are here for business or pleasure, there is accommodation to suit all.

"We are confident that this trend will continue in the second half of the year, particularly given the exciting new retail and leisure openings in the months ahead."

Key highlights in the city's calendar over the coming weeks include the completion of the £600 million redevelopment of New Street station and the opening of the Grand Central shopping centre with a John Lewis department store.

There is also the unveiling of the new leisure and entertainment complex Resorts World at the NEC and two Rugby World Cup matches at Villa Park later this month.

This will be followed in November and December by the city's famous Christmas Markets.