Hotel occupancy rates in Qatar rose by 2% to reach 63% in the first six months of 2011 compared with the same period in 2010, according to a report by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).

QTA said that the number of tourists in the Gulf increased by 12.3% during the same period.

Tourists from Gulf Cooperation Council countries visiting Qatar increased by 39.1% compared with the same period last year.

Doha hotel occupancy rates for January 2011 stood at 74%, 24% higher than in 2010, spurred by the Asian Football Cup and other sport events held in the city, according to the QTA report.

Hotel occupancy rates during February increased to 66% in 2011 from 60% in 2010, while March, April, and May recorded slight drops.