"Visitors were reduced to practically only nationals", said José Soares Neves, when talking about visitors to the 660 museums in the country, of which 25 are under the Ministry of Culture, through DGPC.

In his speech on "Public studies in Portugal: reflections and next steps in the post-pandemic context", the OPAC president said that in this area, Portugal "arrived late", with the first major study to be carried out in 2014 , but that the characterisation of audiences "is also of great interest to professionals and public policies in the sector".

He pointed out that, since 2015, foreigners - with a qualified profile, highly educated and of the new middle classes - have become the majority of the public visiting museums in the country, a reality that has changed since the impact of the pandemic.

On the other hand, he pointed out that only a quarter of the Portuguese population visited a museum in the last 12 months, "an average that is far from the European one", he evaluated.

In the opinion of the OPAC president, in this context of the pandemic, "it is very important to value the digital transition, to strengthen existing mechanisms and instruments to study audiences and the impact of museum activity on communities, and to start a line of studies on cultural practices of the population in the various regions, in order to generate knowledge and fit their results into public policies ".