PARIS, June 24, 2024 – The Eiffel Tower, one of the world’s most visited landmarks, has increased its ticket prices by 20 percent, a move driven by rising maintenance costs and financial recovery efforts post-pandemic.

The Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), the public company operating the monument, announced that adult tickets now cost over €35, up from the previous fare of €29.10. The price hike took effect on June 17, 2024.

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The increased revenue from ticket sales is essential for SETE as it grapples with significant financial challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic forced the Eiffel Tower to close for several months, resulting in a drastic drop in revenue.

In 2020, the landmark’s earnings plummeted to €25 million, a sharp decline from the €99 million recorded in 2019. The financial hit over the pandemic years amounted to an estimated €113 million, according to Paris City Hall.

Moreover, the cost of maintaining the iconic structure has surged, with additional expenses surpassing €130 million.

The Eiffel Tower, rising 330 meters above Paris, requires regular upkeep, including repainting every seven years as originally instructed by its creator, Gustave Eiffel. However, delays have plagued the latest repainting project, pushing its start to 2020, 11 years after the last one.

The 20th repainting project, initially scheduled to conclude within two years, has faced significant setbacks.

The discovery of lead in previous paint layers necessitated a large-scale stripping of the tower before the repainting could begin, extending the timeline and increasing costs.

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As a result, the project remains incomplete, with the Paris Olympics just over a month away. The Eiffel Tower’s hue is set to change from gray beige to yellow-brown, Eiffel’s preferred color, once the repainting is finally completed.

Financial strains are compounded by a sharp increase in the license fee that SETE pays to the city of Paris.

The fee jumped from €8 million to €15 million in 2021 and is set to escalate to €50 million by 2025. SETE’s two staff unions have criticized this increase, accusing Paris City Hall of prioritizing short-term profitability over the landmark’s long-term sustainability.

The unions staged strikes in December 2023 and February 2024, calling for a “viable and realistic economic model” for the Eiffel Tower. These strikes led to temporary closures, disappointing tourists and adding to the operational challenges.

In response to these financial pressures, the Paris City Council approved several measures on May 24, 2024, including a 20 percent ticket price increase and a € 15 million financial boost for SETE.

Additionally, the council had previously voted for a €60-million recapitalization of the management company in July 2021 to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

To address employee concerns and improve transparency, SETE is working on establishing a body to keep staff informed about the Eiffel Tower’s business model and ongoing maintenance efforts.

An additional €156 million has been earmarked for site maintenance, aiming to restore the Iron Lady, inaugurated 135 years ago, to its former glory.

As the Eiffel Tower prepares to welcome visitors for the Paris Olympics, SETE remains focused on balancing its finances by 2025 while preserving one of the world’s most beloved landmarks for future generations.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members