Here's what people are spending on this Valentine's Day

It’s going to be a busy Valentine’s Day. According to the latest Mastercard Consumer Purchasing Priorities Survey, half of people across Asia Pacific plan on marking the day of love by going out for a special meal (48%), and treating their loved ones to gifts (44%).

Across Asia Pacific, men and women show love differently when choosing gifts to purchase. Men favor flowers as a gift (40%), whereas women prefer buying clothes and leather goods (28%). Amongst both genders, the top three gifts to purchase are flowers (31%), clothes and leather goods (20%), and jewelry (17%).

Although flowers reign as the gift of choice, according to the second annual global “Mastercard Love Index” – created by analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions over a three-year period – its popularity may not last till next year, as sales of flowers are wilting in Asia Pacific, having seen a 34% decrease in transactions between 2014 and 2016.

Meanwhile, people in Asia Pacific still value a personal touch, with 85% of transactions around Valentine’s Day made in person. At the same time, the Mastercard Love Index also revealed that technology is helping fire cupid’s arrow with Asia Pacific having seen an 81% increase in online sales over the last three years.

Mastercard survey

People in China are the region’s most ardent lovers, with three in four planning to purchase gifts for their special some-ones. Other amorous countries include Thailand at 74%, with Malaysia and Philippines following at 63%.

Besides being busy, this year’s holiday will also be lavish, as people plan to spend on average US$133 on Valentine’s Day gifts for their loved ones. People in Greater China lead the pack, with China (US$310) as the most generous, followed by Hong Kong (US$282) and Taiwan (US$271). Men in Asia Pacific plan to spend around 25% more than women on gifts.

Georgette Tan, SVP of communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said “When it comes to expressing love on Valentine’s Day, Asia Pacific consumers are still sticking to traditional favorites including flowers and going out for a nice meal. Celebrated across cultures, Valentine’s Day continues to be one of the biggest spending days around the world, with young and mature consumers enjoying the merriments associated with this special day.”

While Valentine’s Day may be a day for love, it’s not necessarily one for marriage, as 64% of people in Asia Pacific would not consider wedding on the day itself. In contrast, romantics in Vietnam (76%), China (68%) and Taiwan (51%) believe it is the best day to propose or receive a marriage proposal.