“The day of August 18 allowed us to see that more than 30,000 people, namely 36,000, were at Mont-Saint-Michel on the day. It is the record day of the season. Between August 8 and 22, we had a fortnight with an average of at least 25,000 people a day, which shows an extremely strong crowd,” Hervé Bierjon, director of the tourist office, told AFP, confirming information from the local press.
Covering an area of less than 4 km2, Mont-Saint-Michel received in one day the equivalent of the population of a city like Auxerre or La Ciotat.
“We used the word record: according to some Mons traders, it had been decades since we had seen so many people simultaneously and over such a short period,” added Mr. Bierjon.
This frequentation of the monument classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site can raise questions about tourist overcrowding.
“We understand the phenomenon of attractiveness and that our visitors do not necessarily have the choice of coming at other times. In absolute terms, that does not offer satisfaction for anyone, because people wait, trample, merchants do not always have the staff to be able to provide quality service to each visitor,” he said.
“The streets are a bit congested: there is a saturation effect which is not very satisfactory for anyone”, he admitted, wishing “to encourage visitors to favor other periods or times during the day which are a little less frequented”.
Attendance in winter is around 1,000 to 1,500 people per day. In 2019, the last reference year due to the years 2020 and 2021 marked by the pandemic, some 2,410,000 people went to Mont-Saint-Michel.