Jacqueline EIDELMAN, Benoît CÉROUX
In the first half of 2008, an investigation into the effects of completely free entry on visitor numbers and types was conducted across fourteen national institutions, ten museums, and four historical monuments belonging to the Ministry of Culture and Ministries of Communication, Defence and Higher Education and Research. In addition to increased attendance, the survey aimed to evaluate the effect of free entry on visitor diversity. Results show that free entry hugely increased visitor numbers, and that students, and more, generally those aged under thirty were the groups more inclined to visit, although it was clear that free entry proved an overwhelming success with all social groups. It is clear that for both seasoned museum-goers and first-time visitors – particularly the latter – free admission has a significantly positive impact on the democratisation of museum access.