Soccer superstar Lionel Messi is scheduled to arrive in Egypt on Wednesday to promote a new treatment for Hepatitis C virus, the Egyptian Tourism Ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
"The new treatment makes Egypt the pioneer and leader in medical tourism and the elimination of Hepatitis C globally," said the ministry's statement.
The Argentinian-born professional footballer, who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona, or "Barca," is set to launch from Egypt the "Tour n' Cure" international tourism initiative under the slogan of "For a World Free of Virus C."
Egypt occupies a key location on the world's map of medical tourism and the country has become a popular world destination in the field, particularly after it has recently announced several villages as Virus-C free.
The Egyptian Tourism Ministry considers Messi's anticipated "historic visit" as the latest step towards enhancing the tourism sector in Egypt that has been suffering recession over the past few years due to political turmoil and relevant security issues.
"Such visits by international public figures, undoubtedly, pour in favor of Egypt and serve its tourism sector significantly," said the Egyptian ministry, noting that the recent improvement of security conditions encouraged several Western states to lift their travel ban to Egypt, including Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark.