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For Valentine’s Day, Hong Kong is a top sentimental spending market

Hong Kong is one of the top Asian markets for sentimental spending according to the Mastercard Love Index, showing continued growth since 2016 and some intriguing behavioural insights.

Now, whether you think of it as the most romantic day of the year or a sickening slog, it’s undeniable that Valentine’s Day is a big deal for people splurging on their loved ones, and in Hong Kong even more so. The Mastercard Love Index has gathered data from credit, debit, and prepaid card transactions from the last three Valentine’s Day holiday periods(11th-14th February 2016-18) to discover the change in how fluffy feelings have translated into cold hard cash.

The results show that since 2016, Hong Kong ranks third in growth for sentimental spending at 62%. China takes the top spot at 88% followed by Japan at 68%, which had a 35% surge. Overall across Asia-Pacific, sentimental spending has jumped up 33% with Valentine’s Day period transactions rising by 37% since 26%

What was the biggest increase seen? Flowers of course. Since 2016 spend value on the holiday staple has gone up by 89% with 73% more transactions. In comparison, Hong Kong transactions for the pretty petals went up by 46% with total spend rocketing up by 93%.

Here are some other interesting insights about Hongkongers from the research:

  • Hongkongers aren’t early Valentine’s shoppers. Last minute buys for gifts are the norm with the 28% majority of sales happening on the day itself.
  • Restaurant dates are still a growing favourite and getting flashier. Transactions in restaurants have grown by 20% since 2016 with the amount spent at meals up by 30%
  • More romantically, there has been a huge increase in couples popping away for romantic trips for Valentine’s Day.  Transportation transactions showed a 205% increase in 2018, making up a significant 23% of the total spend for the day.
  • Hotel rendezvous are also on the rise with 63% growth in transactions since 2016 and a boost to the total spend by 66%.
  • Bling is still in. Jewellery transactions for Valentine’s Day have climbed with spend up 43% since 2016.
  • Hong Kongers like the personal touch when it comes to gifts for Valentine’s Day. 88% of gifts were bought in face-to-face transactions versus 6% online. However, online shopping for Valentine’s Day is still rising with a 146% increase in online transactions over the period since 2016.

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