The 28th HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair and the inaugural Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo concluded today. Organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong Book Fair attracted close to one million visitors despite a postponed opening on Sunday due to a typhoon. Apart from an extensive selection of books, the fair offered a wide range of cultural activities, including seminars with renowned writers and Art Gallery exhibitions.
“Enthusiastic readers braved the elements to attend on Sunday,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “When the fair re-opened, many readers wasted no time to come to the fair. We took immediate measures, with advice from the police, to maintain an orderly traffic. We also extended the opening hours of the two fairs on Monday and Tuesday, allowing the public more time to visit the fairs.” Apart from the strong support of local participants, the two fairs also drew visitors from overseas. According to an onsite survey, approximately nine per cent of visitors were from outside Hong Kong.
Anita Wan, Managing Director of Sun Ya Publications (HK) Ltd, an exhibitor at the Book Fair’s Children’s Paradise, said the overall visitor flow during the week-long event was steady. Ms Wan, who is also Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Publishing Professionals Society, believed the Book Fair was an important sales channel for exhibitors. She said while the typhoon might have affected exhibitors’ sales to a certain extent, the organiser responded with prompt measures. She added that extending opening hours on the last two fair days also helped exhibitors recover the business lost during the typhoon.
Cultural events attract more than 300,000 attendees
During the fair period, around 290 cultural events were held on-site, including renowned writer seminars, new book release presentations and cultural performances at the Art Gallery. Despite some weather-related cancellations, the organisers rescheduled the affected cultural events as far as possible. A total of around 600 events were held in connection with the Book Fair, including activities that took place under the month-long “Cultural July” citywide campaign, drawing more than 300,000 attendees.
Survey: 40%+ visitors interested in travel-related books
The HKTDC commissioned an independent market research agency to conduct an on-site survey during the Book Fair. Of more than 800 visitors interviewed, 42 per cent of respondents said they paid more attention to books related to the Theme of the Year, “Travel”. Most respondents were drawn to the Book Fair by new releases (78%), followed by discounted items (50%). The average per capita spending at the Book Fair was found to be HK$812.
On reading habits, 98 per cent of respondents said they had read a printed book in the past month, spending an average of 23 hours reading, similar to last year’s findings. Most of the respondents reported having bought printed books over the past year, spending HK$1,501 on average. The most popular genres were fiction (66%), literature (38%) and travel books (31%). The survey also found that 60 per cent of respondents have read e-books in the past month, spending an average of 22 hours reading, up eight hours over last year.
Promoting book donation and waste recycling
This year, the Book Fair once again set up book collection sites on the last day for exhibitors to donate unwanted books. The books will go to non-profit organisations to be distributed to individuals or organisations in need. The measure addresses environmental concerns while enabling more people in need to enjoy reading. Large recycling bins were also placed at the venue while exhibitors were reminded to recycle unwanted books and materials.
Cultural July – The joy of reading continues
While the 28th edition of the Book Fair closed today, visitors can still view the recordings of some of the seminars through the Fair website and the HKTDC’s online video channels. In its sixth year, the “Cultural July” citywide campaign continues until the end of this month. Highlight activities include environmental art workshops, children reading sessions, exhibitions and dramas. For details, please visit the “Cultural July” website.
The Inaugural Sports and Leisure Expo well attended
The inaugural Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo concluded its five-day run successfully. The fair featured about 90 exhibitors from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Japan and Korea, showcasing a broad selection of sports and leisure products and services from around 130 brands. Some exhibitors reported better-than-expected results. Over 40 on-site events organised by the HKTDC and activities organised by exhibitors were well received by visitors, creating a good atmosphere at the fairground.