October 17, 2011
Chinese Consumers Set Aside Average of 18% of Their Income for Leisure Activities; Highest in Asia/Pacific Region alongside Respondents from Hong Kong
Beijing, 17 October 2011 – Dining out is very popular amongst the Chinese, while going to the movies or to a karaoke lounge are their preferred forms of entertainment, according to findings from the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Dining & Entertainment.
The survey showed that the average amount spent on dining out each month by Chinese consumers was US$135. This compares to US$213 in Japan, US$212 in Singapore, US$195 in Hong Kong and US$165 in Taiwan. In terms of the ratio of monthly average dining out expenses to monthly income, China (9.1%) was second only to Vietnam (9.2%), with Thailand (6.8%) coming in third. Looking ahead, 20% of respondents said they plan to eat out more in the coming months.
The latest survey was conducted from 15 March to 27 April 2011 and involved 10,374 consumers from 14 markets. Data collection was via internet surveys, personal, telephone and Computer Aided Telephone interviews, with the questionnaire translated to the local language wherever appropriate and necessary. The Index and its accompanying reports do not represent MasterCard’s financial performance.
In their leisure time, cinemas (57%) and karaoke lounges (50%) are popular forms of entertainment amongst those surveyed, with many making three trips to the cinema a month and at least one to two to KTV lounges. The survey also noted that a similar trend occurs in other Asian countries. Cinema-going is the preferred leisure activity amongst the majority in Singapore (75%), Hong Kong (74%), Korea (74%), Taiwan (65%) and the Philippines (61%).
The average proportion of monthly income set aside for hobbies and leisure activities amongst Chinese respondents was 18%, with 55% spending more than 10% of their monthly income on these activities. Hong Kong’s ratio of spending to monthly income was also 18%, the highest in the region, alongside mainland China. The average proportion of monthly income set aside for leisure activities across the Asia-Pacific region was 13%.
“The MasterCard survey results are interesting because they show that dining out and entertainment are actually areas where consumption levels relative to income in China are above average,” said Ling Hai, division president of Greater China for MasterCard Worldwide. “With the rapid growth in the number of movie theatres in China, going to the cinema will continue to be a very popular entertainment option. It’s also encouraging – particularly for us at MasterCard – to see that around 45% of fine dining visits are paid for using a credit card. I’m confident that this number will continue to grow.”
Below are additional key findings from the MasterCard survey:
- Food courts and fast-food restaurants are the most popular types of dining outlets for Chinese consumers, followed by mid-range family restaurants. 82% of respondents said they eat at food courts on an average of eight times a month. Meanwhile, 81% said they went to fast-food restaurants nine times a month
- The frequency of visits to fine dining restaurants was not surprisingly lower than the number of visits to mid-priced restaurants. 66% of the respondents said they go to mid-range family restaurants on average five times a month
- The survey also split fine dining into two categories: standalone restaurants and hotels, which were respectively frequented by 23% and 17% of the respondents. In both cases, those surveyed had dined out at these locations twice a month on average
- The survey showed that respondents visited bars for dining just slightly more than they visited fine dining restaurants. Only 28% of respondents said they go to bars – and on average only three times a month
- Coming in behind cinema-going and karaoke, the survey indicated that amusement parks (39%) and arcades (34%) were popular as well. Although the latter attracted fewer respondents, the frequency of visits was actually higher than for cinemas and KTV lounges. Respondents visited theme parks five times a month and amusement arcades were usually visited three times a month
- For entertainment, just over a fifth of respondents went to bars or nightclubs (21%), and normally three times a month, while museums and art galleries (11%) had less appeal and were normally visited once a month
- Again, possibly because of expense or a lack of availability, few of the respondents (3%) participated in sports club activities, such as golf or team sports. However, more respondents (12%) said they go to health and fitness clubs on a regular basis – on average, seven times a month
For the full report in English, go to: www.masterintelligence.com
The MasterCard Worldwide Index suite in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa includes the long-running MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, Online Shopping, Index of Financial Literacy, and the Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the Indices, MasterCard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Ethical Spending and a series on Consumer Purchasing Priorities (covering Travel, Dining & Entertainment, Education, Money Management, Luxury and General Shopping).
MasterCard also regularly releases Insights reports providing analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 80 Insights reports have been produced since 2004.
MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard Worldwide and published by John Wiley & Sons.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.