What are the most popular museums in the world and in China?

International Museum Day was observed on Thursday to celebrate museums and their importance in society.

The most popular museums in the world

The Louvre in Paris maintained its position as the world's most visited museum according to the 2019 TEA/ AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index. Over the year, the museum had 9.6 million visits.

The Index didn't re-rank the 2019 list during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the wide disparity in operating restrictions and the tremendous toll the pandemic has taken on the museum industry.

The National Museum of China ranked second.

The most popular museums in China

During the COVID-19 pandemic, museums in China explored a variety of innovative approaches to reach and attract people, and many engaged with guests remotely through various digital experiences.

A dance show called "The Night Banquet in Tang Dynasty Palace" featuring 14 dancers mimicking colorful ceramic figurines from a famous painting at the Henan Museum had gone viral on social media platforms in 2021.

Henan Museum was listed as the eighth most popular museum in the 2022 Douyin Museum Data Report based on video likes on the Chinese online video-sharing platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

The Palace Museum was listed as the most popular museum with 130 million video likes.

The report said from May 2021 to May 2022, the number of museum-related videos on Douyin has increased by 70 percent year-on-year, with more than 1.2 billion likes and 39.4 billion views, nearly 53 times the number of visits to museums nationwide in 2021.

In 2021, museums across China received more than 748.5 million visits, data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed.

More than 6,000 museums across the country received more than 50 million tourists during the five-day May Day holiday this year based on incomplete statistics from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, as museums are working their way back to pre-pandemic levels.

Over 90 percent of China's museums are free to the general public.