Dubai: A new study of card transactions from over 53 countries around the world has revealed that the ‘love economy’ is growing five times as fast as the global economy with Valentine’s Day spend up 17 per cent since 2017.
Romantics across the world are spending more than ever before, with overall transactions in the lead up to Valentine’s Day (11-14 Feb) up by 31 per cent over the past three years.
The figures come from the Mastercard Love Index, which analyses spending habits and trends around Valentine’s Day by analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions across the globe.
The trend of gifting ‘experiences’ is outpacing traditional gifts like flowers and jewellery, with hotel bookings up 22 per cent and flights to romantic getaways up 13 per cent. A massive $2.2 billion was spent booking flights and trips away last year. The data also revealed that spend on the traditional Valentine’s Day card is slowing down, with just 2 per cent growth over the past three years.
Food continues to be a safe way to peoples hearts, with spend in restaurants continuing to increase for Valentine’s Day year-on-year. Since 2017 there has been a 32 per cent increase in the amount of Valentine’s Day transactions in restaurants, with overall spend increasing by 16 per cent to $£3.4 billion in 2019.
As experiences including travel and dining continue to grow at rapid pace, spend on traditional gifts continues to slow. Flowers are still blooming but not booming with just 3 per cent growth since 2017, while jewellery spend has grown by just 6 per cent in the period.
The rise of online shopping also continues, with a 57 per cent spike in online transactions in the Valentine’s Day period over the past three years. Of those still shopping offline, the share of contactless transactions has seen a massive increase of 175 per cent since 2017, with increasing year-on-year growth.
The data revealed a positive trend of a more organized Valentine’s Day planner, with the majority of transactions taking place earlier than ever before and the number of last minute shoppers falling.