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The New Arab

Football star Roberto Carlos heads to Cairo to promote Egypt tourism

Carlos arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to promote Egypt tourism [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 July, 2017

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Former Brazil and Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos landed in Cairo on Wednesday to promote Egypt's struggling tourism sector.
Brazilian football superstar Roberto Carlos arrived in Cairo on Wednesday to promote Egypt as a tourist destination in a bid to revive the country's ailing tourism sector, state media has reported.

The 44-year-old former Real Madrid defender arrived from Germany to participate in a state-sponsored tourism campaign, as well as to play a charity football match, according to Ahram Online.

His visit comes a few weeks after fellow Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho visited Egypt to launch the humanitarian Ronaldinho Foundation, in cooperation with the Prime Pharma drug company.

Ronaldinho's visit also aimed to support Tour 'n' Cure, a campaign promoting Egypt as a medical tourism destination for Hepatitis C patients.

In February, Barcelona star Lionel Messi visited Cairo for a day, also to promote Tour 'n' Cure.

The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism said at the time it hoped Messi's "historic visit" would enhance the country's tourism sector, which has been struggling in recent years due to political turmoil and security issues, not least a military coup and ongoing crackdowns on freedom of expression, assembly and media.

"Such visits by international public figures, undoubtedly, pour in favour of Egypt and serve its tourism sector significantly," the ministry said in a statement.

Tourism provides the Arab world's most populous country with much-needed revenues.

Special series: Police state Egypt

Egypt has struggled to quash militant attacks led by the Islamic State group, whose local branch is based in the Sinai Peninsula, after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

An IS bombing of a Russian airliner carrying holidaymakers from a resort in the south of the Sinai in 2015 killed all 224 people on board and decimated the tourism sector.

Russia suspended all flights to Egypt in response and has yet to resume them.

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