The title of Guest of Honor was introduced to the Belgrade Book Fair in 2002 in order to present the literature and publishing production of a selected country. The Guest of Honor is featured at a prominent location in the Arena of Hall 1. This gives the selected country an ideal opportunity to present its culture and specifically literature to a wide audience by holding book and author promotions, lectures, and seminars at the exhibition stand and in the conference halls.

The Guest of Honor may also want to use this occasion to present their most prominent authors, translators, publishers, distributors, and all others in connection with literature. Since of the main goals of this event is establishing (and maintaining) strong cultural ties, the function of the Guest of Honor is very important.

Previous Guests of Honor were Norway (2002), Canada (2003), France (2004), UK (2005), USA (2006), Italy (2007), Japan (2008), Greece (2009), Sweden (2010), the Portuguese language (2011), Hungary (2012), Poland (2013), China (2015), Russian Federation (2015), Islamic Republic of Iran (2016), Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein (2017) and Kingdom of Morocco (2018).

The Guest of Honor for 2019 is the the Arab Republic of Egypt.