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Valentine’s Day: 1 in 2 APAC consumers to spend on gifts

About 79 per cent of people in Thailand are planning to buy a gift for their Valentine, followed by 72 per cent in China and 65 per cent in Hong Kong, according to the latest Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey by MasterCard in APAC.

People across the region have embraced Valentine’s Day with half (44 per cent) planning to spend on a gift this year.

On average, people plan to spend USD 100 on Valentine’s Day gifts this year. People in Hong Kong plan to spend the most at USD 243 each, followed by consumers in China (USD 239) and Singapore (USD 189). Men in Hong Kong are the biggest spenders, planning to lavish USD 273 on Valentine’s Day presents for their loved ones.

Across Asia Pacific, men plan to spend 40 per cent more than women on gifts this year. The biggest discrepancies in spending are in New Zealand, Japan and India, where men plan to spend more than double on gifts than women. The only markets where women plan to spend more than men are Sri Lanka and South Korea.

Across the region, the most popular gift to buy is flowers. The survey also highlighted that between 2013 and 2015, 36 per cent of money spent on Valentine’s Day went on hotels, while 24 per cent went to restaurants. In total, Valentine’s Day spending in Asia Pacific was up 23 per cent from 2013 to 2015.

In-store purchases were preferred more than online shopping when it came to Valentine’s Day gifts. In Asia Pacific, 84 per cent of Valentine’s Day transactions were made in-person from 2013 to 2015.

Nevertheless, jewellery, a common big-ticket item, made up 14 per cent of Valentine’s Day expenditure from 2013 to 2015. Some of this money may well have been spent on engagement rings, with MasterCard’s Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey uncovering that almost three quarters of consumers in China and Vietnam – and over half in Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand – believe Valentine’s Day is the best day to propose or receive a marriage proposal.

Eric Schneider, Region Head, Asia Pacific, MasterCard Advisors said, “Love is certainly in the air across Asia Pacific. Half of people across the region plan to buy gifts for loved ones this year, and spending during Valentine’s Day was up 23 percent from 2013 to 2015. What’s surprising is that Valentine’s Day is more popular in markets such as Thailand, China, and Malaysia, than Australia and New Zealand; places that have more of a tradition of marking the day. In China and Vietnam it is even considered the preferred day to propose or receive a marriage proposal. The spread of Valentine’s Day shows that everyone likes to take the opportunity to celebrate love, buy presents and share experiences with those they care about the most.”

Shubhi Tandon

Shubhi Tandon is the Assistant Editor at Digital Market Asia. Fascinated by the evolving digital media industry, she has focussed on tracking developments in the Asia Pacific market since 2014.