The Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel operates, performs maintenance, and runs events at the Eiffel Tower. The SETE and its 340 staff welcome more than 6 million visitors to the Eiffel Tower every year, as part of a delegated public service contract with Paris City Hall.

What is SETE?

SETE (Société d’Exploitation de la tour Eiffel - The Eiffel Tower Operator) is a local public company. 99% is owned by the City of Paris, with the remaining 1% being owned by the Métropole du Grand Paris.

Its board of directors is chaired by Jean-François Martins, Councillor of the City of Paris

Formed in 2005, the City of Paris chose SETE to run and maintain the Eiffel Tower. With the Eiffel Tower attracting more than 6 million visitors every year, SETE’s main tasks are to modernise its facilities, its public areas, and the services available to visitors, all as part of a strategy focusing on sustainable development and high levels of security.

SETE, with 340 staff and a turnover of €99.8m in 2018, is managed by Patrick Branco Ruivo.

It total, some 600 people work to bring the Eiffel Tower to life every day. Half are employed by SETE, with the remaining half working for sub-concessionaires and subtenants.

Who are SETE’s concessionaires and subtenants?

SETE works with leading partners to deliver high quality services to the Eiffel Tower’s visitors.

3 concessionaires:

  • LxA (partnership between Lagardère and Arteum) runs the 9 souvenir shops
  • The Umanis Company composed of Sodexo, in partnership with the duo of Michelin-starred chefs Frédéric Anton (3*) and Thierry Marx (2*), and the Ubudu start-up, runs  the food and drink concession (restaurants, take-away)
  • Wika operates the telescopes.


Some parts of the Eiffel Tower are leased to subtenants:

  • Public bodies: the Parisian police and fire brigade, TDF, the French Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire, and the Météo France meteorological office
  • One charity: Airparif.

Who sits on the SETE board of directors?

Representatives of the City of Paris:

  • M. Jean-François MARTINS, President
  • M. Gauthier CARON-THIBAULT
  • Mme Emmanuelle DAUVERGNE
  • M. Frédéric HOCQUARD
  • Mme Fatoumata KONÉ
  • M. Arnaud NGATCHA
  • M. Pierre RABADAN
  • Mme Karen TAIEB
  • Mme Anouch TORANIAN 

Representative of the Métropole du Grand Paris :

  • M. Philippe GOUJON

What is a delegated public service? 

On 1 November 2017 the City of Paris, which owns the Eiffel Tower, chose SETE to run and maintain the monument as part of a new 15-year delegated public service contract.

An agreement signed with the City of Paris details SETE’s various responsibilities as part of the delegated public service until 2032.

“The City of Paris wants to make the Eiffel Tower an unassailable showcase for the quality of Paris’ visitor experience”

(Paris City Hall press release, June 2017)

SETE’s work goes hand in hand with a real desire to place visitors at the core of its concerns, by developing an extensive transformation programme built upon three pillars:

  • An improved visitor experience: with more online ticket sales, an expansion of the Eiffel Tower’s perimeter to enclose the gardens around the monument, an overhaul of the customer experience (signage, events, guided tours, security), and the modernisation of the services and facilities available to visitors (WiFi, etc.)
  • Maintenance of the monument: through refurbishment work which includes enhanced security and accessibility (protective perimeter and landscaping), renovation of the second floor, and maintenance work (North lift, paintwork and sparkling)
  • Boosting the monument’s national and international reputation: through involvement in the City of Paris’ major events (Olympic Games/Universal Expo) and its own events, developing the Eiffel Tower’s heritage online, and coordinating its online community


SETE works with the assets provided by the City of Paris:

  • The monument as a whole, excluding the TDF antennae
  • The gardens around the monument, the square on the ground and adjoining premises
  • The Eiffel Tower’s lifts and all of its facilities and equipment
  • Intellectual, commercial, and industrial property rights
  • Archives and operational assets

Client watchdog

In 2008, SETE created a client watchdog body, enabling it to learn more about visitors to the Eiffel Tower and to evaluate their level of satisfaction regarding their visit and the services offered.

In 2017, the results show a high level of satisfaction:

  • overall satisfaction: 7.5 out of 10
  • 96 % would recommend the visit to a friend or their family