London has ranked as the best shopping city in Europe in the first ever Global Shopper City Index produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

London beat over 33 other European Cities on criteria including shops, affordability, convenience, hotels and transport, culture and climate according to the survey sponsored by shopping and spending experts Global Blue.

Tourists whose travel choices are heavily motivated by shopping opportunities are estimated to be worth £3bn to the London economy, according to research carried out by Shoparazzi in November 2011.

The UK capital has seen a massive boom in international tax free shopping this year, which is up 30% on 2010. The fastest growing spenders are visitors from China, the Middle East, Russia, Nigeria, the US, Thailand and Brazil according to Global Blue.

The official promotional organisation for the capital, London & Partners chairman Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas said: This research acknowledges that London’s unique and huge mix of retail is second to none ranging from luxury to high street, and boutique to bargain stores.

“These can all be found throughout London which is constantly evolving and has much to offer every visitor.”