The most popular galleries in Paris have seen a steep decline in foreign visitors in 2016. This has been blamed on the terrorist attacks in the city in 2015 and Islamic incidents in other parts of France. The Louvre dropped by a whopping 20% to 5.3 million, with the Musee d’Orsay’s down 13% to three million. However, the Pompidou Centre rose 9% to 3.3 million in 2016 with the increase in figures attributed to French visitors. The Pompidou Centre thanked the French public for their loyalty.
The city of light is still recovering from the aftermath of the 130 people who were killed in gun and bomb attacks on 13 November 2015. 86 people also died in an unrelated attack in July 2016 when a lorry drove through a crowded Bastille Day celebrations in Nice on the French Riviera. The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay were also closed for five days in June because of serious flooding from the Seine river.
The decline in visitors will cost the gallery almost 10 million euros – Jean-Luc Martinez Louvre Director
The Louvre’s director Jean-Luc Martinez told Le Figaro newspaper that 2016 had been “a difficult year”, and that the decline in visitors would cost the gallery almost 10 million euros (£8.6m), excluding the lower revenues in bookshops or restaurants. The Louvre was ranked as the most visited museum in the world in 2015, and charges 15 euros (£12.80) entry for adults. M Martinez said the number of Japanese visitors had dropped by 61% in 2016, while the number from Russia was down by 53%, Brazil by 47%, China by 31% and the US by 18%.
At the Pompidou Centre, president Serge Lasvignes said the venue had suffered from a decline in the number of foreign tourists after “the tragic events” of 2015.Mr. Martinez added, that in 2016 this was “more than compensated” for by the numbers of French visitors and the loyalty of the Parisian public.
The Musee d’Orsay welcomed three million visitors in 2016, compared with 3.4 million in 2015. It said visitor numbers had started increasing again by November and December 2016.Hotel bookings in Paris from overseas were also down by 10% in 2016, according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.