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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

London named top shopping location

16th November 2011

Travellers in need of retail therapy will be flocking to luxury London hotels as the capital has been named the top shopping destination in Europe.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's index of shopping destinations, London came out on top ahead of rival cities, such as Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, to be named the top retail spot.

Among the capital's draws, visiting shoppers can indulge in famous retail districts Oxford Street and Covent Garden, ideal for those staying in hotels in Marble Arch.

When it comes to shop diversity, London earned the highest rating of all cities at 80.6 points out of a total of 100, which gives the city a six point lead over Paris.

The study ranks 33 European cities on a broad range of criteria, including quality and diversity of shops, affordability, the price and convenience of amenities and the number of nearby cultural attractions as well as the weather.

While London rules the roost, Madrid and Barcelona tied for second place, with the two Spanish cities performing well across all the criteria.

Nearly half of all tourism spending happens in Europe, according to the World Trade Organisation, with the region being seen as the world's leading destination for luxury shopping while on holiday.

"Europe is facing a long road to economic recovery but one of the region's clear strengths is its attractions for international shoppers," says Robin Bew, global editorial director at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

"The Globe Shopper City Index assesses cities across Europe in terms of their attractiveness as shopping destinations, and gives consumers the tools to decide which of the 33 locations is most likely to fulfil their ideal shopping holiday."

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