Kenya: Love Economy – Kenyans Spend Big On Romantic Experiences for Valentine’s


Kenya is witnessing a significant increase in romantic experiences spending as lovebirds go beyond traditional gifts in pursuit of happiness.

The Mastercard’s annual Love Index shows that the number of transactions on hotels have increase by 65 per cent from 2017 to 2019 against 22 per cent globally.

This puts hotels at the top of the wish list for Kenyans in the lead up to the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day, celebrated on February 14.

“Kenyans are keeping pace with global trends and favouring experiences over traditional gifts. It’s clear that the younger generation values the opportunity to create a shared experience,” said Adam Jones, Mastercard Area Business head East Africa.

Driven by wanderlust, Kenyans spent 37 per cent more than they did in 2017 on booking flights and trips, escaping with their partners to celebrate the day.

The index, a study of transactions ahead of Valentine’s Day, identifies spending habits and trends by analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions from 53 countries around the world.

Now in its fifth year, the index reveals that the world’s ‘love economy’ is growing five times faster than the global economy, with Valentine’s Day spend around the world up 17 per cent since 2017.

In Kenya, sentimental spending around Valentine’s Day has increased even more by 32 per cent since 2017, with the overall transactions up by 51 per cent.