The landlocked country Mali, situated at the edge of the Sahara desert, was always a cultural bridge between North and West Africa. Important towns along the Niger River, such as Timbuktu, Djenne, and Gao, served as dynamic market spots for caravans trading gold and salt. This rich cultural history serves as the foundation for the national tourism policy executed by the Ministry of Handicraft and Tourism. Tourist activities are considered an essential instrument of the national strategy to reduce poverty, and are financially supported by the World Bank.

Tourism is controlled and developed by the state-run tourism administration, the Office Malien du Tourisme et de l’Hôtellerie (OMATHO). OMATHO is responsible for the conservation and development of all kinds of tourist sites, for education and licensing of ...

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