This paper presents some aspects of COVID-19 impact on cultural tourism and on the museum sector. Museums are closely linked to cultural and heritage tourism, considered a significant attraction.
The tourism sector is among the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and cultural tourism is not an exception. In 2020 around 95% museums around the world were closed – according to government sanitary regulations. The aim of the research was to identify the impact of COVID-19 disease on cultural tourism (measured by a number of visitors in the most popular museums in 2019 and 2020) and museums’ adaptation to the sanitary restrictions during the pandemic time. For a few decades museums have tried to enhance their digital activities such as online educational programmes, online collection display, online exhibitions, live events, learning programs, brochures, podcasts, social media and virtual tours. These activities and various projects became especially important during the lockdown caused by the pandemic outbreak, as many museums continued their missions during the pandemic. Some museums have reopened (with strict limitations defined by sanitary restrictions), but many institutions remain closed. It shows how crucial IT innovations are. The paper concludes with some reflections on museums’ offer during the pandemic time and cultural tourism prospects in the post-pandemic time.