OTHER PRESS RELEASE
About 920,000 Visitors Take in Hong Kong Book Fair
More than 270 Cultural Events Highlight Fair’s 21st Edition
27 July 2010 – About 920,000 readers visited the 21st edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
The fair, which closes today after a week-long run at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, welcomed about 920,000 visitors, up 2 per cent over the 2009 fair. Among them were about 13,000 tourists, largely from the Chinese mainland, Macau and Taiwan. The fair featured 510 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions.
Most Popular Seminars
Speaking at a press conference today, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau said that more than 270 cultural events were held to promote reading culture. “It's encouraging to have nearly 60,000 people -- 20,000 more than last year -- attend the fair's cultural events.”
Mr Chau said two seminars were particularly popular. “Mainland author and blogger Han Han attracted nearly 1,800 people to his seminar, half of them from the Chinese mainland. And nearly 1,200 participated in the public forum, “How and What and Why do Writers Write?” which was hosted by Sir David Tang and featured authors Frederick Forsyth, Stephen Fry and Andrew Roberts. The after-forum autograph session lasted almost two hours,” added Mr Chau.
The HKTDC commissioned Actrium Solutions (HK) Ltd to conduct an onsite survey during the Book Fair. A total of 815 visitors were interviewed face-to-face. According to the survey, the most popular types of books at the fair were works of fiction and novel (54 per cent), literature (30 per cent), travel (18 per cent), self improvement (16 per cent) and children books (15 per cent).
Respondents who purchased “literature” at the fair increased seven percentage points this year over last year. “The increase is related to the richer cultural activities at the Book Fair,” said Mr Chau. “More than 90 authors took part in these events, and their books were available for sale onsite.”
The survey also asked respondents why they attended the Book Fair. Those who said they had come to purchase books in foreign languages increased by 13 percentage points over 2009. “We attribute the growing interest in foreign-language books this year to the expanded English Avenue and the increased participation of internationally known authors.”
Almost all respondents said the main objective of the Book Fair should be to promote reading in Hong Kong and that all promotional activities during the fair period should be aligned with that objective.
“Book lovers are more willing to spend on books, in light of the reviving world economy,” said Mr Chau, adding that 20 per cent of the visitors spent HK$700 or more on books at the fair, up two percentage points over last year. Mean visitor spending at the Book Fair was HK$476, up 1.5 per cent.
Mean annual spending on books among interviewees was HK$2,078. Those who spent HK$2,000 or more a year on books were up seven percentage points over last year.
Where Books are Bought
The survey found that half of the respondents bought books at least twice a month. In addition, about half of the respondents borrowed books from the library at least once a month. Some 56 per cent of visitors indicated that the Book Fair is one of their favourite channels for purchasing books. Other major channels are book stores (92 per cent), online book stores (17 per cent), book stands (17 per cent) and supermarket/convenience stores (five per cent).
The survey also found that the Internet (58 per cent) has replaced book stores (49 per cent) as the major information source on new book releases.
An “eBook and Digital Publishing” zone made its debut at the Book Fair this year, with positive feedback from visitors. “Many exhibitors said that the download rate of their e-books surged during the fair period, given the many promotions to hundreds of thousands of fair visitors,” said Mr Chau.
The survey revealed that 25 per cent of the visitors have purchased e-books and related digital tools and about 40 per cent have used them. For e-reading, the most popular were mobile phones, e-readers, iPads and similar devices, and PDAs.
Videos of the Book Fair seminars can be viewed at the following sites:
www.hkbookfair.com/seminar_chi (Chinese authors)
www.hkbookfair.com/seminar_eng (English authors)
In addition, webcast interviews of many of the authors who took part in this year’s Book Fair can be found on www.youtube.com/hktdc.
Fair Website: www.hkbookfair.com
For media enquiries, please contact the HKTDC’s Media and Public Affairs Department:
Beatrice Lam Tel: (852) 2584 4049 Email: email@example.com
Osbert Kwan Tel: (852) 2584 4395 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.