Valentine's Day spending in HK up 62% over three years: survey

February 14, 2019 13:45
Flowers top the list in Valentine’s Day spending growth in Hong Kong, with splurging on the gift category estimated to be up 93 percent over the past three years. Photo: HKEJ

Hongkongers were the third biggest Valentine’s Day spenders in the Asia Pacific region in the three years from 2016 to 2018, with their splurging on gifts, meals and other things for their loved ones topped only by people in mainland China and Japan, according to MasterCard.

The credit card company’s 2019 Mastercard Love Index showed the amount of "sentimental spending'' by Hong Kong people during the period to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is marked on Feb. 14, rose by 62 percent since 2016.

That was only behind an 88 percent increase in China and 68 percent rise in Japan in such spending, according to the survey.

In terms of transaction volume, the number has gone up 35 percent in Hong Kong since 2016, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The index tracked and analyzed credit, debit and prepaid card transactions across the past three Valentine's Day periods, namely February 11 to 14 during the three years to 2018.

Sentimental spending refers to all spending in the Valentine’s Day period in categories comprising restaurants, hotels, transportation, books and records, jewelry and stationery, a Mastercard press release said.

MasterCard found that romantics in Hong Kong tended to buy their Valentine's Day gifts at the last minute, with 28 percent of related purchases made on Feb. 14.

As for the ranking of categories that enjoyed spending growth, the survey showed flowers topped the list with an increase of 93 percent over the past three years, followed by 43 percent on jewelries and 30 percent on restaurant meals.

It was also found that more and more Hongkongers switched to online shopping when they tried to select their gifts, with related e-commerce transactions soaring about 2.5 times since 2016, compared to a 88 percent growth enjoyed by purchases at physical stores on Feb. 14.

Meanwhile, the number of Hong Kong people who decided to get married on Valentine’s Day is said to hit a new high this year.

According to Apple Daily, a total of 343 notices of intended marriage for the day had been received by government authorities, marking an increase of nearly 75 percent compared to last year.

It was the highest figure since 2014.

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