Nearly 1 million visitors attend Hong Kong Book Fair
24 July 19 HKTDC by HKTDC
23 July 2019 – The 30th HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair and the 3rd HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), both drew to a close today. Despite the tense atmosphere in the city in recent days, the seven-day Hong Kong Book Fair attracted close to 1 million visitors in 2019, giving members of the public the chance to enjoy their favourite books and take part in various cultural events. A range of on-site seminars and Art Gallery exhibitions also received an enthusiastic response.
The Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo ran concurrently with the Book Fair and also proved popular with the public. Featuring more than 150 exhibitors showcasing a broad selection of sports and leisure products and services from over 160 brands, the expo offered visitors the chance to explore a broad range of activities after immersing themselves in the world of books.
“This year’s Hong Kong Book Fair attracted a total of 980,000 visitors over its seven-day run,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “In addition to eagerly buying books, people were keen to take part in the various on-site cultural events. For example, a seminar featuring renowned science fiction writer Ni Kuang attracted a capacity audience, showing that visitors were enthusiastic about the various activities held as part of the Book Fair.
“We were also very encouraged by the response to the latest Sports and Leisure Expo, which ran in parallel with the Book Fair for the whole seven days. There were plenty of free trials and interactive experiences offered by exhibitors, which were enthusiastically received and helped to create a vibrant atmosphere at the fairground.
Mr Chau added that efforts continued to reduce waste at the Book Fair, with exhibitors and visitors encouraged to use recycling bins. Book collection sites were set up at the fair once again for exhibitors to donate books. These will be donated to voluntary service organisations for distribution to individuals or organisations in need. The Hong Kong Book Fair mobile app was updated this year, allowing readers to receive the latest fair information and discount coupons, as well as locate exhibitors and cultural event venues. This helped to reduce the quantity of printed materials and make the fair more environmentally friendly.
Cultural events attract 300,000-plus attendees
More than 310 cultural events were held on-site during the fair period, including “Theme of the Year: Sci-Fi and Mystery” seminars, renowned writers’ seminars, storytelling by celebrities and the International Publishing Forum. A total of more than 650 events were held in connection with the Book Fair, including activities taking place under the month-long “Cultural July” citywide campaign, drawing more than 300,000 attendees in total.
According to an on-site survey, the Book Fair and the concurrent Sports and Leisure Expo both received an enthusiastic response from local residents as well as overseas visitors, with more than 10% of attendees arriving from outside Hong Kong.
Average per capita spending at Book Fair reaches HK$875
The HKTDC commissioned an independent market research agency to conduct an on-site survey during the Book Fair, interviewing more than 820 visitors. Most respondents reported having bought printed books over the past year, spending HK$1,358 on average. The average per capita spending at the Book Fair was found to be HK$875, up 8% year-on-year. It also represents 60% of respondent’s average overall annual book spending, highlighting the fact that people are more willing to buy books while at the fair. Most respondents were drawn to the event by new releases (75%), followed by discounted items (36%) and diversified cultural activities (25%).
The Theme of the Year in 2019 was “Sci-Fi and Mystery”. Authors and works from different eras were featured at the Art Gallery’s thematic exhibition titled “A Literary Journey Across Boundless Dimensions”. Alongside some of the familiar big names, the exhibition also featured a number of brilliant new-generation writers – a mix that highlighted the openness of Hong Kong’s publishing industry and helped to engage the interest of readers of different ages and tastes.
Most popular genres: fiction, literature and travel
The survey also revealed visitors’ reading habits and preferences. About 98% of respondents said they had read a printed book in the past month, spending an average of 23 hours reading which was one hour more compared with last year’s findings. The most popular genres were fiction (63%), literature (35%) and travel books (26%). Other popular genres included comics, self-improvement, language study and politics. The survey also found that nearly 70% of respondents have read e-books in the past month, spending an average of 18 hours reading.
Exhibitions, seminars and more continue in Cultural July
While the 30th edition of the Hong Kong Book Fair closed today, readers can still view videos of selected seminars on the fair website and through the HKTDC’s online video channels. The “Cultural July” citywide campaign continues until the end of this month, with a broad range of activities including arts and cultural tours, exhibitions and seminars. For details, please visit the event website.
Sports and Leisure Expo well attended
The 3rd HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo featured more than 150 exhibitors showcasing a broad selection of sports and leisure products and services from over 160 brands. On-site events organised by the HKTDC, as well as other free trials and interactive experiences offered by exhibitors, were enthusiastically received, creating a vibrant atmosphere at the fairground. Sharing sessions by local star athletes were also well attended.
Fair website: http://www.hkbookfair.com
Cultural July website: http://www.hkbookfair.com/culturaljuly
Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo website: http://www.hktdc.com/hksportsleisureexpo
Book Fair video playlist:
Photo download link: https://bit.ly/2JU4RzQ