Taiwan’s booth at the just-
concluded Los Angeles Times Festival of Books drew a lot of attention from visitors across the US, many of whom were eager to resume traveling after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tourism Bureau’s Los Angeles office said.
As one of the nation’s largest literary events, the annual festival at the University of Southern California usually attracts about 150,000 people every April.
This year, it was held on Saturday and Sunday last week, featuring hundreds of exhibitors who filled the university campus.
Due to the pandemic, the event was held virtually in the past two years.
While the bureau usually runs a booth at the book festival to promote Taiwan tourism, for this year’s festival, the bureau’s Los Angeles office teamed up with the Taiwan Academy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles and the Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning.
Shih Chao-hui (施照輝), head of the bureau’s Los Angeles office, said this year’s festival showcased books and publications covering a wide range of areas, including travel and tourism, gardening, and delicacies.
As the spread of COVID-19 slows in the US, many Americans are eager to resume international travel, he said.
Several US exhibitors from the tourism industry also promoted tailored travel itineraries, and expressed hope that Taiwan would open its border to international travelers, Shih said.
Centered around the theme “Literature and Migration: Flowing Across Words,” the Taiwan booth showcased the English versions of Taiwanese literary works such as The Stolen Bicycle (單車失竊記) by Wu Ming-yi (吳明益), as well as Running Mother (奔跑的母親) and Sailing to Formosa: A Poetic Companion to Taiwan (航向福爾摩莎：詩想台灣) by Guo Song-fen (郭松棻).
Many visitors to the booth had either been to Taiwan or an interest in Asian cultures, Taiwan Academy head Chien Teh-yuan (簡德源) said.
Chien said he used a whale design representing the shape of Taiwan to highlight the characteristics of the country’s literary works and its landscape to reflect the vividness and fantasy of Taiwanese literature.
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