The Taipei International Book Exhibition, which had been postponed from last month to May, will no longer be held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the annual Creative Expo Taiwan has been suspended, the Ministry of Culture said yesterday.
The decision to cancel the book fair was made with the Taipei Book Fair Foundation, following guidelines for public gatherings that were issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center, the ministry said.
The annual exhibition attracts nearly 600,000 visitors, and exhibitors from about 50 nations were scheduled to participate this year, the ministry said.
As a large event where close person-to-person contact occurs, the risk of contagion was relatively high, while foreign exhibitors and authors might have problems traveling to Taiwan, it said.
Delaying the exhibition until later this year was not feasible as it would clash with other international book fairs scheduled for the second half of the year as well as cut into the time needed to prepare for next year’s exhibition, it said.
The foundation would provide full refunds of exhibitor booth fees, while members of the public who ordered tickets would be eligible for a full refund through May 31, the ministry said.
Taiwanese exhibitors struggling due to the effects of the coronavirus can apply for relief options offered by the ministry, it added.
The Creative Expo Taiwan was scheduled for April 17 to April 26 at various venues in Taipei, but some exhibitors had said the pandemic was affecting their supply of raw materials, the ministry said.
Organizers contacted the venues that scheduled to host the exhibition, but had been unable to find an appropriate time during the second half of the year to reschedule it, the ministry said.
After the pandemic subsides, the ministry and organizers would discuss whether the expo could be held, it said, adding it has asked that exhibitor booth fees be refunded.
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