HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair Breaks All-time Attendance Records
The 24th HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair drew more than 980,000 visitors, setting an all-time attendance record for the week-long event, according to the organizer, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
“The Hong Kong Book Fair is a significant cultural event in the Asia-Pacific region,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.
He added, “The nearly 10 percent increase in visitor attendance this year can be attributed to the Art Gallery and the sumptuous line-up of fascinating cultural events, which added traffic, and drew tourists to Hong Kong.”
The Book Fair was held July 17-23 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
With the theme, “Reading the World – Reading for a Better World”, the fair attracted 560 exhibitors from 30 countries and regions, which also set a record.
Among many other highlights, the fair’s Open Public Forum spotlighted American writer Erica Jong and British writers Jung Chang and William Shawcross.
Jong is the author of more than 20 books, including “Fear of Flying”, which has sold 27 million copies.
Chang is best known for “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China”; her books have been translated into more than 40 languages. The books of Shawcross include the “Queen Mother”, the official biography of Queen Elizabeth.
The Book Fair again reached beyond the HKCEC, with events organized throughout Hong Kong. “More than 400 cultural events were organized, including seminars and sharing sessions held during the Book Fair, which attracted nearly 250,000 readers to participate, an increase of more than 50 per cent as compared to last year,” Chau said. “It was a delight for us and our co-organizers, and we hope it would help propagate the reading trend.”
Besides the normal attendees, many of whom were placing good buys, the St. James’ Settlement and SHKP Read To Dream program sponsored nearly 1,200 children from 33 schools to visit the Book Fair and participate in cultural events.
Each child received HK$250 for purchasing books. “I am very happy to take part in this event. The book fair is fascinating and huge. I can choose from a great selection of books,” said a primary-six student.