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Visitor numbers to Eiffel Tower reach new heights

The number of visitors to globally-famous monument the Eiffel Tower is on the rise, having passed the 300 million mark last year.

The Eiffel Tower - designed and built in Paris by engineer Gustave Eiffel and company in 1887-89, and seen universally as a symbol of France and the capital - attracted 6.2 million people in 2017, marking a reported 5.6% year-on-year rise compared to 2016.

The figures, from the Tower’s management company the SETE (Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel), also show that in September 2017, the monument recorded its 300 millionth visitor overall since it first opened in 1889.

This “once again testifies to the immense power of attraction of one of the capital’s most emblematic monuments”, said Anne Yannic, general director of the SETE, speaking to Le Figaro.

The Tower is not only seen as a tourist attraction - it is also frequently used to send a message of support, solidarity or acknowledgement of global events, such as last week, when Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo confirmed that its lights had been turned off to honour the victims of a deadly attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Now almost 130 years old, the Tower is set to undergo significant renovations between now and 2023, including the installation of a €20 million “bulletproof terrorism-proof glass wall” around the base.

Modernising improvements to the visitor reception and facilities are also planned, the SETE confirmed.

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