A fresh perspective on Chinese museum visitors

January, 31, 2017
Agenda Chinese museums CELSA Paris-Sorbonne

Agenda has collaborated with students from CELSA University Paris-Sorbonne to find out how Parisian museums are adapting to Chinese visitors. On 30 January 2017, 25 Master students specialised in cultural management and communication took the stage to explain their strategic and challenging recommendations for 5 Parisian museums. The chosen museums were: the Musée Guimet, Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou and Musée du Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac.


Facts and figures on Chinese tourists in Paris:

  • The majority of tourists are young, the average is 34
  • 60% of hotel reservations are made by tour operators, 28 % via the internet and only 10% directly with the hotel
  • 97% come to Paris to visit a museum (6% of their budget), 71% to discover the city and 53% to shop (1/3 of their budget)
  • 47% wish to return to Paris the following year

Focus on digital

Out of all the recommandations made by the students, social media stood out as the most important tool to reach Chinese visitors. Museums can communicate about their insitution before Chinese visitors arrive in Paris. However, museums should understand the rules of the game and adapt to Chinese customs before setting themselves this challenge.

  • Wechat is a messaging service which can also be used for payement. It is a useful way for museums to give practical information about their institution and sell tickets.
  • Weibo is the second most used social media platform in China with 222 million active users in 2016. Museums must adapt their content to successfully attract users by limiting text and posting videos and images.


Top recommendations for 5 Parisian museums :

Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet :

  • translate museums signs in mandarin
  • offer an immersive experience with QR codes allowing Chinese visitors to easily understand works of art in Chinese
  • Adapt museum spaces as places of leisure (create library and change restaurant)

Musée du Louvre:

  • Translate “Tous Mécènes” website in different languages to include Chinese donors
  • Translate and adapt the Louvre website for Chinese audiences
  • Pursue efforts on social media with less institutionnal content
  • Work on an itinerary for Chinese visitors to include less visited rooms as well as popular art works

Musée d’Orsay :

  • Work more proactively with tour operators to include the museum in their tours
  • Attract Chinese visitors by focusing on their fascination for impressionism and 19th century France
  • Create a “Musée d’Orsay corner” in China to implement the brand abroad

Centre Pompidou :

  • Include the surrounding environment of the museum, Beaubourg and the Marais district, in the communication strategy
  • Value and promote the”Beaubourg” brand abroad and make the museum brand travel
  • Develop interactive promotional content on social media

Musée du Quai Branly :

  • Collaborate with tour operators and buses to include the Quai Branly museum in the Eiffel Tower tour
  • Accommodate and curate with fast track visitors in mind
  • Develop “China friendly” signs in the museum to facilitate entry and introduce QR codes in exhibition spaces to improve understanding

Please contact Corinne Estrada, Director of Agenda, to find out more about the student research.