Growth of the Love Economy – Valentine’s Day Spend Up 37% in Three Years in Egypt

February 17, 2020 | Cairo, Egypt
  • Overall transactions increased by 46 percent, reaching over 12 million dollars
  • Spend on experiences such as hotels and vacations outpaces traditional gifts like flowers and jewelry
  • Valentine’s Day card spend in Egypt rises by 85 percent compared to the past year

A new study of card transactions from over 53 countries around the world, including Egypt, has revealed that the ‘love economy’ is growing five times as fast as the global economy with Valentine’s Day spend up 17 percent since 2017. In Egypt, the figure goes up to 37 percent as Valentine’s Day continues gaining popularity.

Romantics in Egypt are spending more than ever before, with overall transactions in the lead up to Valentine’s Day (11-14 Feb) up by 46 percent over the past three years, reaching over 12 million dollars. The figures come from the Mastercard Love Index, which analyses spending habits and trends around Valentine’s Day by analyzing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions across the globe.

The trend of gifting ‘experiences’ surpassed traditional gifts like flowers and jewelry, though the amount spent on flowers has risen up by 115 percent compared to the past year and spend on jewelry increased by 92 percent compared to the past three years. The data also reveals that spend on traditional Valentine’s Day cards remain popular rising by 85 per cent in 2019.  Nevertheless, expenditures on experiences still top the list with hotel bookings acquiring a majority of 43% of total spend on Valentine’s Day in 2019; and a massive 4 million dollars spend on flight bookings and trips away last year.

Food continues to be a safe way to people’s hearts, with spend in restaurants continuing to increase for Valentine’s Day year-on-year. Since 2017 there has been a 66 percent increase in the number of Valentine’s Day transactions in restaurants, with overall spend increasing by 86 percent to over 700 thousand dollars in 2019.

“The trend of favoring shared experience continues to grow and it’s clear that today Egyptians place a great emphasis on investing in time and memories together, yet, physical shows of affection expressed through traditional gifts such as flowers and jewelry also increased dramatically,” said Mohamed Assem, Egypt Country Manager at Mastercard. “The Mastercard Love Index is a unique look at how buying behavior is evolving over time, and as we make our way in a new decade, we expect the trend of investing in time and memories together to continue to grow.”

The data revealed a positive trend of a relatively more organized Valentine’s Day planner, with the majority of transactions taking place on 13th Feb, compared to 2017 and 2018 where they took place on 16th Feb, a heartbreaking two days after Valentine’s Day.