Press /
2014 Press Releases

Record 1 Million+ Attend the 25th HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair
Spending up 25%; Fiction, Literature, Travel Books Best Sellers
22 July 2014 - The 25th HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair concluded today by writing a new page in the history of the event which, for the first time, welcomed more than one million visitors. The week-long signature event, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), was unfazed by the impact of a passing storm, attracting more than 1.01 million visitors, an all-time attendance record.

“The Book Fair this year welcomed 570 exhibitors from 31 countries and regions,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “Even though the weather has been rather unsettled over the past few days, it did not dampen the enthusiasm of readers. The enduring success of the Hong Kong Book Fair is a sure sign of Hong Kong people’s thirst for knowledge and appetite for a good story. The Book Fair has become a not-to-be-missed summer event for the public and for the industry.”

The Book Fair ran from 16-22 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Events staged during the period of the Hong Kong Book Fair included seminars, readings, book clubs and new book parades with some 300 speakers taking part. As an extension of the Book Fair, the on-going month-long “Cultural July” festival features a total of more than 500 cultural events across Hong Kong which have so far attracted 250,000 attendees.

During the Book Fair, the HKTDC commissioned independent consultancy firm CAP Strategic Research to conduct an on-site survey from 16-19 July. The survey interviewed 805 fair visitors and found that per capita spending at this year’s Book Fair was HK$987, up 25 per cent over the previous year.

93 Per Cent of Visitors Planned to Increase or Maintain Their Spending

The survey also found that visitors were more willing to spend on books this year, with 16 per cent of respondents saying they had planned to spend more than they did last year, with an average budget increase of 49 per cent year-on-year. About three-quarters (77 per cent) of respondents said they expected to spend the same this year compared to last year. In terms of genre, fiction (58 per cent) topped the popularity list, followed by literature (32 per cent) – a significant increase of 5 per cent compared to last year –, travel (29 per cent), comics (20 per cent) and children’s books (18 per cent).

Online Bookstores Did Not Affect Sales of Traditional Bookstores

The survey also found that about 25 per cent of respondents had ordered books through online bookstores during the past year, while 95 per cent bought books from traditional book stores and 74 per cent made purchases at the Book Fair. This suggests that the rise in popularity of online bookstores does not necessarily affect the sales of traditional bookstores.

Almost all survey respondents said they had bought printed books in the past year, with average spending rising to HK$1,839, an increase of HK$130 year-on-year. Some 35 per cent of respondents reported buying e-books in the previous year, up 19 per cent, with average spending of HK$478. According to the survey, the amount of time people spend reading held steady. Ninety-nine per cent of respondents said they had read a printed book in the past month, spending an average of 30 hours reading. Sixty-one per cent had read an e-book in the previous month, spending an average of 22 hours, which is one hour more than the previous year.

Book Fair the Main Purpose for Visiting Hong Kong

The survey found that non-Hong Kong residents made up approximately 12 per cent of the total attendance of this year’s Book Fair. Based on this figure, it is estimated that some 120,000 visitors were from outside Hong Kong. Apart from the Chinese mainland, Macau and Taiwan, there were also readers from the US, Singapore, the UK and Korea, among other places. Over 50 per cent of these non-Hong Kong visitors said the main purpose of their trip was to attend the Book Fair. More than half of them (55 per cent) also said “buying books unavailable in my region” was a main reason for their visit.

High Praise for the Four Exhibitions at the Art Gallery

Four special exhibitions were staged at the Art Gallery. Among them was “The Hong Kong Story: A Century of Books”, supported by Commercial Press (Hong Kong) Limited and Popular Holdings Limited, which attracted a lot of visitors. The traditional bookstore theme allowed readers to enjoy browsing for books, which proved to be popular. They could also create their own souvenirs at the woodblock printing experience zone. Other exhibitions, including: “Author of the Year – Dung Kai Cheung”, “Literary Hong Kong” and “A Journey to Fujian”, were also extremely popular.

Packed Houses at Seminars by Celebrated Guests

The HKTDC once again invited many authors from the Chinese mainland and overseas including from France, Japan, Taiwan, the UK and the US to speak at the Book Fair and interact with the local readers. Renowned commentators and authors from Taiwan, Li Ao and his son Li Kan, and Geling Yan, author ofThe Flowers of War from the Chinese mainland, all spoke at packed seminars. The recordings of some of the seminars are uploaded in full:

New Seminars Hit the Mark

Taken together, the new Lifestyle Seminar Series supported by Habour City, and the Personal Development and Spiritual Growth Seminar Series supported by China CITIC Bank International Limited, presented about 20 seminars during the fair period. They featured, among others, Patrick Suen, Sue Chang, Yim Ho and Cherie Yeung.

Popular Online Authors on Show at the Fair

Online novels are the current trend, and some of the most popular works have even been published in hard copy or turned into films. Co-organised with the Hong Kong Novel Association, “Introduction of Hong Kong Online Writers” promoted this fast-emerging style of literature. Two of the most popular online authors attended a seminar with Mr Sze Yan Ngai, the convenor of the Hong Kong Novel Association. Mr Sze spoke of his confidence about developing local online writing talent, saying “at the moment Hong Kong lacks people with creativity, while Cyberspace would be a good platform for the new generation to develop their creativity.” They hope that online novels will introduce more people to different forms of literature and encourage them to read more.

Underprivileged Children Enjoy the Occasion

The SHKP Read To Dream 2014 programme sponsored nearly 1,200 underprivileged children from 35 schools to visit the Book Fair and participate in cultural events. Each child received HK$250, funded by SHKP and Partnership Fund for the Disadvantaged, to purchase books. The students were particularly keen to buy detective stories and science books. One student visiting the Book Fair for the first time said, “I love reading in the library very much, but seldom own a favourite book of my own. The sponsorship enabled me to buy books that I love, and I have also bought some recipe books for my mom, so she can learn some new dishes to enjoy with the family. “

Cultural July – Reading on …

While the Book Fair has reached its conclusion, the “Cultural July” festival continues in Hong Kong until the end of this month. Activities include story sharing, parent-child workshops, art fairs, sharing sessions and exhibitions. “We hope the public’s love of reading can be sustained beyond July and become ingrained into their daily life. ‘Cultural July’ provides an excellent platform for all to experience different cultures and, through reading, deepen their understanding of the world,” Mr Chau said.

Media Enquiries
Please contact the HKTDC’s Corporate Communication Department:

Parker Robinson
Tel: (852) 2584 4341
The 25th Hong Kong Book Fair ended today. The fair welcomed more than 1.01 million visitors over seven days
“The Hong Kong Story: A Century of Books” re-created a traditional Hong Kong bookstore and was very popular with the visitors. One parent said it was good that children were able to learn more about woodblock printing techniques and that she enjoyed experiencing the “good old times” with her child
The exhibition of Author of the Year, Dung Kai Cheung, featured Mr Dung's creative journey and other illustrations and theatre props
Dung Kai Cheung (left) and his friend and fellow author Kyoko Nakajima exchange views on “Literature and Real Life”
Geling Yan, author of The Flowers of War, speaks at a packed seminar
The Introduction of Hong Kong Online Writers featured the most popular online authors in town and enabled them to meet readers face-to-face
French novelist David Foenkinos shares his secrets of success in writing French romance
Exhibitor Cite (H.K.) Publishing Group Limited said the unsettled weather did not affect visitor traffic, with sales increasing by a healthy 10 per cent compared to last year
Celebrated guests read stories to a captivated audience at the Children’s Paradise event
Nearly 1,200 underprivileged children from 35 schools enjoyed a sponsored visit to the Book Fair. One student talked about the thrill of being able to buy books, rather than borrow them from the library
A mother and daughter attend a seminar hosted by local children’s author Kelly Yang. Mother Kathy said, “My daughter loves reading story books, Kelly Yang is a good story teller and encourages children to write.”
Visitors Kate from Guangzhou and Iris from Zhuhai came to Hong Kong to attend the Book Fair. They were impressed by the large number of books in different categories, and even discovered some rare books. They plan to visit the Book Fair again next year
Hailey, from South Africa, came to the Book Fair in search of illustrated novels. She said she had never seen such a large book fair before

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 13 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: