Frankfort Book Fair sheds "light at the end of the tunnel"

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FRANKFURT, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The first in-person book fair in Frankfurt, Germany since the outset of the pandemic closed on Sunday, offering a glimpse of hope for the publishing industry to return to its business as usual.

With less fanfare at a time when the coronavirus induced restrictions are still in place to some extent, the five-day Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest of its kind in the world, brought thousands of exhibitors and traders.

The reopened book fair, which was forced to go online in 2020, is one of the first international book fairs to resume on-site exhibition after a long halt due to the pandemic.

The 73rd Frankfurter Buchmesse, as the Frankfurt Book Fair is widely known in its German name, has wooed a much smaller number of exhibitors. Some 2,000 exhibitors from 80 countries turned up at the book fair, down from more than 7,000 in 2019.

The reduced scale, however, sheds light on the publishing industry that has been plagued like other sectors by the pandemic.

"The pandemic has had an existential impact on the entire trade fair industry," said Juergen Boos, President of Frankfurter Buchmesse, at the press conference opening the book fair.

"The 73rd Frankfurter Buchmesse puts the focus on an industry that has shown itself to be resilient, creative and innovative during the pandemic," he said, adding that "'Back to business', however, does not mean things are now 'back to normal'."

To facilitate those who can not make themselves available on site during the book fair, the organiser complemented the in-person fair with digital programs that preceded the onsite fair.

More or less, the event has provided some relief for the publishing industry that has been suffering and looking forward to a return to the pre-pandemic normalcy.

Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media Monika Gruetters believes the Frankfurt Book Fair is turning the page. "I hope all the more that this year's Frankfurt Book Fair will open a new chapter in the success stories of many individuals and businesses," said the commissioner. Enditem

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