Featherston Booktown’s success has been recognised by the International Organisation of Booktowns (IOB).
Last week, the IOB has voted unanimously to make Featherston Booktown a full member of the global organisation, joining 21 other full member Booktowns, stretching across Europe, Asia and Australia.
Gunnel Ottersten, President of the IOB said: “The IOB has observed with great interest the successful growth of Featherston Booktown over the last four years. The Featherston Booktown Board of Trustees and the Featherston community have done a fantastic job taking Featherston Booktown forward to its current impressive stage – and the IOB voted unanimously to make Featherston Booktown a full member of the IOB.”
Peter Biggs, Chair of the Featherston Booktown Board of Trustees said: “This is a proud moment for Featherston and recognition of the commitment and generosity of the entire Featherston community – who have been 100 percent behind Featherston Booktown from day one.
“Full membership of the IOB will give Featherston the opportunity to promote itself internationally as a Booktown and add significant value and innovation to all of the other Booktowns around the world. We have a close working relationship with Clunes Booktown in Victoria, Australia – and we have the first Trans-Tasman Booktown summit later this year in Featherston. Now, Featherston is globally connected and has an international voice.”
A Booktown is a small rural town or village in which second–hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. Most Booktowns have developed in villages of historic interest or of scenic beauty. Featherston now has six bookshops and the annual Featherston Booktown Festival attracts over 4,000 visitors every year. In 2018 and 2019, Featherston Booktown will have a programme running throughout the year.
The concept was initiated by Richard Booth of Hay–on–Wye in Wales. The Hay–on–Wye Literature Festival now attracts over 80,000 visitors across ten days in May-June every year.
“The Booktown concept has proven internationally to create a platform for community engagement and reinvigoration that leads to growth and prosperity for the wider local region. It is one of the most successful new tourism developments internationally and it is being followed in many countries around the world”, Peter Biggs said.
The fifth Featherston Booktown Festival will take place over the weekend of 10-12 May 2019.