Swiss lovers tighten their belts on Valentine's Day - bucking the trend

While spending has risen by 17 percent worldwide over the past three years, it has fallen by three percent in Switzerland. Hotel bookings account for the largest share of Valentine's Day sales at 32 percent. This is shown by a Mastercard study.


A new study of card transactions from more than 53 countries around the world has found that the "love economy" is growing five times faster than the global economy, but in Switzerland it is bucking the trend by falling slightly. Valentine's Day spending has increased by 17 percent globally since 2017, but in Switzerland it fell by three percent over the period. Still, total spending around Valentine's Day in Switzerland remains at just over CHF 142 million in 2019. The figures come from the Mastercard Love Index, which analyzes spending behavior and trends around Valentine's Day by taking into account credit, debit and prepaid card transactions around the world.

The trend in Switzerland is also toward giving "experiences" as gifts: Hotel bookings increased by 30 percent over the past three years and account for 32 percent of total Valentine's Day sales. The data also show that, by contrast, the traditional Valentine's Day card has lost its appeal, with spending down 20 percent on the previous year.


Love goes through the (hungry) stomach 

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and this is also true in Switzerland. Last year alone, the Swiss spent around 42 million francs on restaurant visits on Valentine's Day, although this is eleven percent less than three years ago. Globally, spending has increased by 32 percent since 2017.

Just as experiences in Switzerland have seen fluctuating sales, so too have traditional Valentine's Day gifts: while spending on flowers fell 19 percent last year, it rose 16 percent for jewelry from 2017 to 2019 (up six percent globally).


Experiences - booked last minute

"The global trend of giving experiences as gifts continues to grow. The Love Index shows that today's generation places great value on using Valentine's Day for a shared experience," says Juliane Schmitz-Engels, Head of Communications Germany and Switzerland at Mastercard. "It is now easier than ever to book travel, as reflected in the huge increase in flights and hotels booked online in the run-up to Valentine's Day over the last three years. The Mastercard Love Index is a unique look at how buying behavior is evolving, and for the new decade we expect the trend of investing together in time and memories to continue to grow."

The data also show that, contrary to the global trend, the Swiss continue to be last-minute shoppers. As in previous years, most transactions here are made on February 13, the day before Valentine's Day. Globally, most transactions are taking place earlier than ever before, and the number of last-minute shoppers is declining. In 2019, the majority of global Valentine's Day transactions took place on February 11, compared to 2018, where they took place on February 12, and in 2017, on February 13.


More articles on the topic