Louvre’s visitor numbers drop as museum tries to limit overcrowding

Louvre Museum

The Louvre’s visitor numbers dropped to 9.6 million in 2019, following a record 10.2 million guests in 2018. The attraction is attempting to limit overcrowding, and is therefore welcoming lower figures.

Last year, the Louvre paid special attention to managing visitor flows and visiting conditions. It encourages online booking, especially in the summer months of June, July and August.

During this time, managing flows reduced the attendance from one million to 800,000 visitors per month. Meanwhile, online reservations already account for half of visits to the Louvre.

These make it possible to determine a maximum number of visitors per day, guaranteeing entry in less than 30 minutes and offering a more pleasant trip, particularly during busy periods.

Louvre Museum is encouraging online reservations

louvre mona lisa

Louvre Museum

“We are not looking to welcome more visitors, but to welcome them better,” said Jean-Luc Martinez, president and director of the Louvre.

“Carrying out work of such magnitude without closing the museum is a challenge that we take up on a daily basis thanks to the commitment and professionalism of the teams.

“I am delighted that we can continue to inspire young and old from all walks of life and share the pleasure of admiring the masterpieces of art history.”

Advance booking is obligatory for the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death.

‘We are not looking to welcome more visitors’

louvre mona lisa

Louvre Museum

“We are the only cultural institution in the world to do this and we are very clear with people,” Martinez told AFP (via France 24).

“We do this because we want to welcome people better and not just take more and more visitors.”

Approximately 25 percent of visitors to the Louvre Museum came from France, with foreign visitors representing the remaining 75 percent.

These mainly come from the US, China and EU countries including Spain, Germany, Italy and the UK.

The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, ahead of the National Museum of China in Beijing and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In October, the Louvre’s renovated Salle des États reopened, with Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa returned to its rightful place, featuring a state-of-the-art glass panel for clearer visibility.

As part of the renovations, visitor traffic flow was reorganised so that all guests can view the artworks, even during peak attendance periods.