The next stage of the fight against overtourism, or in other words – with overcrowding by tourists, began the most visited museum in the world. We are talking about the Louvre in Paris. The museum is introducing strict quotas for visits – it is assumed that the new electronic ticketing system will be able to “keep” the number of daily visitors at the level of 30 thousand people. This was stated by the management of the famous Parisian attraction. However, it is not clear exactly how the museum plans to limit tourists to a quota of 30 thousand so as to stop the abuse of ticket speculators. And as you know, even electronic personalized tickets do not always save society from these “bugs”.
Overcrowding problems for the Louvre in Paris, according to the French media, are becoming relevant again: in 2022, the famous museum received 7.8 million visitors – 19% less than in 2019, but already 170% more than in 2021. when French museums were closed for almost five months due to covid.
It was at this moment that the director of the Louvre, Laurence de Cars, announced that she was ready to press the pause button: the management decided to limit the number of entries per day to 30 000 people.
Recall that before the pandemic, the museum could accommodate up to 45,000 people on the most crowded days. And it didn’t lead to anything good – incredible queues accumulated at the entrance, famous masterpieces like the Mona Lisa were crowded because of the gathering crowd … And most importantly, Louvre employees repeatedly went on strike, complaining about the unprecedented deterioration in working conditions in conditions of record crowds.
The control practices worked out in covid should now serve as a service against the overcrowding of the museum. So, according to Ms. de Cars, at the moment 80% of tickets are sold through the booking service – and this will help both reduce queues and, with the support of the new management policy, stabilize attendance in 2023 at the level of 7.5 to 8 million visitors – i.e., like about 17 years ago. “Our goal is to make visiting the Louvre an enjoyable experience, especially for those who visit the museum for the first time, which is 60% of the visitors,” said the general director of the museum. She also noted that she is ready to become the first director of the museum, who consciously made the decision to limit the number of visitors, “taking into account not only the needs of the public, but also the condition of the staff. She also stated that the Louvre will not plan any major exhibitions, especially since the museum is scheduled for reconstruction, even though Paris will receive about ten million visitors during the Olympic Games in the summer of 2024.
At the same time, we note that foreign tourists visit the Louvre significantly more often than domestic ones – in 2022, 70% of Louvre visitors were foreigners who resumed travel after the pandemic. Americans were in the lead – up to 18% of the total, as well as European tourists – about 27% from the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain. True, tourists from China almost disappeared, although their flow before the pandemic was from 8 to 10% of the total. In December, the average daily attendance was 25,000 people, and during the Christmas and New Year period it increased to 30,000 people – and the Louvre would like to limit itself to this.
At the same time, the French media add that usually the purchase of tickets is provided almost a third of the Louvre's annual budget of 200 million euros. Moreover, some of these tickets are somehow subsidized by the state – this number reaches half. That is, the details of the financial consequences of the restriction on attendance must also be weighed. Moreover, during the covid years, the Louvre received 120 million euros of exceptional assistance from the government, and now it is forced to ask for state support in order to cope with the growing costs of electricity, which amount to 10 million euros. And that's not counting the problems with ticket speculators.
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