By: Lamiaa Kamel
“This is the best trip ever; Egypt is more beautiful than what we think,” says Will Smith, Hollywood American actor, during his visit in Egypt along with his family. Smith’s spontaneous statement has been a strong message to promote tourism in Egypt unlike failed trials to compel Messi to show love and admiration for Egypt, as part of the medical tourism campaign aimed at promoting awareness of Hepatitis C.
In my opinion, Messi’s visit has been nothing but pure propaganda for the sponsoring company, which benefits no one including the involved ministries. On the other hand, Smith’s joyful touristic experience has sent more credible messages to the world promoting tourism in Egypt.
Although Messi has a strong and solid fan base in Egypt, his visit did not receive the same welcome from the people as Will Smith’s. Messi’s visit has been criticised for being unorganised and chaotic, which fails to achieve the purpose of Tour n’ cure to promote tourism in Egypt. Moreover, this comparison shows the success of Smith’s visit for many reasons:
First, the tense and unjustified security presence in Messi’s visit gives a false impression that Egypt is not safe which backfires on the whole point of launching such event. Unlike, Will Smith, who visited Egypt’s tourist attractions with his family, with no security presence.
Second, we can prove that Smith’s visit has been more successful as he has truly enjoyed Egypt’s tourist attractions which is noticeable form the beautiful pictures taken with his family and fans. While Smith has been smiling throughout his whole visit, it was quite obvious that Messi was annoyed from the sudden rushed inauguration ceremony.
Third, I wonder why Messi’s inauguration event has not been broadcasted in English? Why has no prominent Egyptian figures presented the event nor has anyone been invited to attended it?
Fourth, the whole point of Messi’s visit to Egypt is to promote medical tourism which provokes my mind. Has the visit achieved this goal? What is next? Has any deals been made with organisations to host patients to receive treatment in Egypt? Does Egypt really provide help for patients to be treated from Hepatitis C? I truly wish we could offer medical tourism services in Egypt especially that many countries around us, with half the resources, are already making huge success in such area.
Well captured moments and beautiful smiles remain as memories in pictures, but the true benefit is the one that goes to the people not the event organisers. The Indian Doctor Muffazal Lakdawala who supervises the treatment of Eman Ahmed, an Egyptian women who weights 500kg, has gained the love and respect of the whole world for such nobel act. India would be number one destination in treating obesity through the efforts of such person along with his team. Such acts are the true promotion a country needs.
Finally, Egyptian heritage garners global attention with no spotlights, red carpets, interviews with celebrities or fancy inauguration ceremonies. Only those who love and appreciate heritage would enjoy and respect it.