SINGAPORE: Who says true love is priceless? Consumers in Singapore have set an average budget of US$189 (S$263) for Valentine's Day this year, according to a survey by MasterCard.
People in Singapore rank third in the Asia-Pacific region, MasterCard said. Lovebirds in Hong Kong plan to spend the most at US$243 (S$338), while those in mainland China plan to spend an average of US$239 (S$332), MasterCard said in a news release on Thursday (Feb 11).
The MasterCard Love Index, which surveyed nearly 8,800 people across 17 markets, also found that men across the Asia-Pacific region planned to spend 40 per cent more than women on gifts. According to the credit card company, men in Hong Kong are the biggest spenders, planning to shell out US$273 (S$380) on Valentine's Day presents for their partners, while men in Singapore have set aside US$198 (S$275) - above the regional average of US$120 (S$167).
The index found that the only markets where women planned to spend more than men were Sri Lanka and South Korea.
WILTING DEMAND FOR THINGS ON VALENTINES' DAY
According to the survey, MasterCard holders in the Asia-Pacific region spend more on experiences than on items for Valentine's Day. Between 2013 and 2015, 36 per cent of money spent on Valentine's Day went to hotels, while 24 per cent went to restaurants. Two per cent of Valentine's Day spending in the last three years went to flowers, the survey found.
"In total, Valentine's Day spending in Asia Pacific was up 23 per cent from 2013 to 2015," the press release said.
In Singapore, Valentine's Day was recorded as the top spending day for in-store purchases by MasterCard holders in 2015.
"Around Valentine's Day, restaurants made up the highest spend category, accounting for 72 per cent of transactions. This year, six in 10 people in Singapore plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day by going out for a meal and three in 10 people plan to catch a show at the cinema or theatre," the press release said.
As for marriage proposals, MasterCard found that slightly more than one in three people in Singapore believe Feb 14 is the best day to propose or receive a marriage proposal, compared to seven in 10 people in China and Vietnam who think the same - the highest in the region.