- Mali has seen a boost in its revenues with tourism generating a good collection in the past year.
Revenues generated by tourism in Mali went from just over $ 154 million in 2001 to more than $ 262 million last year 2007, the country's officials have reported.
According Office of Tourism and Hospitality in Bamako, the number of jobs created in the sector rose from just over 8,200 in 2001 to around 17,000 in 2007, while the number of hotels increased from 134 to 439 from 2001 to 2007, leading to an increment of 6,000 from 2,800 rooms.
Tourism and Hospitality office said the number of visitors who came by the Bamako International Airport - Senou was estimated at 221,328 persons in 2007 compared with 94,300 in 2001.
Having seen positive development in tourism, the office said are prospects are good in the country, saying for first time in the country's history, great efforts to support the industry's growth were being met through amongst others, the Support Project Growth initiative of World Bank.
The World Bank intervention will also target construction management and rehabilitation of areas and monuments of historical heritage and that have potential in tourism.
Right in the Sahel and with an enormous cultural wealth, Mali also offers the tourist a nature appreciated for the practice of mountain sports, with more routes to travel the country marked by trekking. Mali also have many places for canoeing and fishing.
Mali's tourism flows have in recent years gained from the three World Heritage sites, Timbuktu, Djenne and Bandiagara. However, there exist numerous other tourism resources relating to diverse cultures of the empires and kingdoms that have flourished over the centuries. National projects currently being pursued in Mali seek to open up and develop tourism resources, so as to allow new as well as existing forms of tourism. In terms of tourism development, which heads the Malian government's list of priorities, ecotourism combined with conventional tourism, and a policy of utilising the festivals held in various regions as tourism resources, are projected to contribute to an increase in visitor numbers.
Active steps are also now being taken in wake of economic liberalisation and privatisation of various government bodies, to improve facilities, train staff, and support and manage tourism resources by means of tourism associations and other organizations, Mali's official government stands puts.
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