25 July 2012
Book Fair Attracts 900,000 Visitors Despite Storm
Fair’s 300 Cultural Events Draw 160,000+ Participants
25 July 2012 – The 23rd annual HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, which ended yesterday, attracted some 900,000 visitors during its week-long run. This was despite having to close at 5:45pm on Monday, and reopening yesterday at 12:10pm, because of the typhoon that hit Hong Kong.
“As soon as the Hong Kong Observatory announced that the No. 8 Typhoon Signal would soon be hoisted, we announced that the Hong Kong Book Fair would close in two hours, as is our usual practice in such cases,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “Public safety is our foremost concern, and visitors and exhibitors, as well as workers, left the venue in good order.”
Fiction Still Tops
The HKTDC appointed independent survey consultancy Nielsen to conduct a survey at the fairground to understand visitor consumption and reading patterns. The survey found that 87 per cent of the participants had attended the Hong Kong Book Fair more than once. About half the tourists interviewed said that they had come to Hong Kong just to attend the Book Fair, and almost 90 per cent said they would come again next year.
The most popular books were fiction (52 per cent), followed by literature (24 per cent), travel (24 per cent), comics (23 per cent), and children’s books (21 per cent). The most popular pavilion was the General Books Pavilion (92 per cent), followed by the Taiwan Publishing Community (84 per cent), Teen’s World (82 per cent) and the Multimedia & Stationery Zone (81 per cent). More than 70 per cent of the respondents said that the Art Gallery, English Avenue and Children’s Paradise were attractive.
“Almost 90 per cent of the respondents mentioned that they had a better picture of the latest publishing trends, and more than 80 per cent said that the cultural activities of the Book Fair enhanced their interest in reading,” said Mr Chau. “Our efforts to bring publishers, writers and readers together are well-recognised.”
More than 300 cultural activities were held at this year’s Book Fair, attracting 160,000 participants, an increase of 23 per cent over last year. The Renowned Writers Seminar, hosted by Kenneth Pai Hsien-yung and Zi Zhong-yun, and the English Reading and Creative Writing Seminar, hosted by Indian novelist Chetan Bhagat, proved particularly popular. As well, “Cultural July, Joyful Summer Reading,” a programme of about 50 pre-event activities, attracted more than 11,000 visitors.
The survey also found that 46 per cent of the respondents hope that more “literature and film” activities can be added to the Book Fair next year. More than 30 per cent look forward to more reading events for “children and teens,” as well as “exchanges among authors from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.”
“We divided the fair’s cultural seminars into seven themes and invited about 300 speakers from different sectors,” Mr Chau said. “And we will continue to introduce more cultural enrichment programmes to the fair.”
Reading and Shopping Habits
As for the participants’ reading habits, the survey found that, over the past 12 months, their average spending on books was HK$1,654. More than 59 per cent of the respondents bought more than 10 books. The survey also found that 94 per cent of respondents bought books at bookstores, 67 per cent at book fairs, 26 per cent from bookstands, and 19 per cent from online bookstores. In addition, 28 per cent of respondents said they had bought electronic books over the past year, with an average spending of HK$459.
Some 98 per cent of respondents read books last month. Out of that, 75 per cent read more than 10 hours a month. General reading was mainly composed of fiction (64 per cent), travel (45 per cent), comics (38 per cent), and literature (33 per cent). Most book lovers (64 per cent) enjoy traditional Chinese books, followed by English books (19 per cent) and books in simplified Chinese (16 per cent).
As to why they read, 87 per cent of the respondents thought they could “acquire knowledge” through reading, 79 per cent thought reading helped them “foster diversified interests and hobbies,” and 75 per cent and 54 per cent believed that reading books could “relieve stress” and “cultivate appropriate living values” respectively.
Some six per cent of those interviewed in an HKTDC survey at the fair were tourists. Based on this, it is estimated that more than 50,000 tourists visited the fair. Over 15,000 tourists entered the fair through a dedicated tourist passage.
Fair Website: www.hkbookfair.com/en
Chetan Bhagat interview: http://youtu.be/w0moBYTIBKc
Justin Hill interview: http://youtu.be/yePW0a3_pUU
Holly Webb interview: http://youtu.be/5XDEAgvGKzA
Murong Xuecun interview: http://youtu.be/xRYCgGmi6MY
Please contact the HKTDC's Corporate Communication Department:
Tel: (852) 2584 4238
About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com