Friday,21 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1337, (23 - 29 March 2017)
Friday,21 September, 2018
Issue 1337, (23 - 29 March 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Conference may boost tourism

A two-day conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh sent the message the town is completely safe for tourism and international aviation

Conference may boost tourism
Conference may boost tourism

The Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh hosted an international conference on tourism and physiotherapy between 16 and 17 March. The conference, organised by Cairo University and parliament’s Tourism Committee, was attended by MPs, local and foreign travel agents and physiotherapists from around the world.

Tourism Committee head Sahar Talaat told reporters the conference should be seen within the context of the ongoing campaign for Sharm El-Sheikh to regain its status as the Middle East’s number one beach resort.

Alaa Balbaa, head of Cairo University’s Faculty of Physiotherapy, said the presence of a large number of physiotherapists from the US and Europe conveyed a message to the world that the Sinai resort was a secure destination. “Participants saw that the resort is safe and possesses first class recreational facilities and amenities,” Balbaa told journalists.

“While one aim of the conference was to promote Sharm El-Sheikh as a leading tourist destination, a second goal is to promote Egypt as a regional centre for physiotherapy.”

While noting that the downing of a Russian passenger plane in Sinai in October 2015 has negatively affected Sharm El-Sheikh and other Red Sea tourist resorts in Egypt the hope is, said Talaat, “that the two-day conference and similar planned events will help the city recoup its losses and once again become a top destination on the world’s tourist map”.

Cairo University President Gaber Nassar said the two-day international tourism and physiotherapy conference had sent a message that Sharm El-Sheikh was completely safe for international aviation.

Nassar expressed his appreciation for European countries such as Germany which recently resumed direct flights to Sharm El-Sheikh and urged the UK, the only country apart from Russia to retain a travel ban on the Red Sea resort, to follow in Germany’s footsteps.

Maher Al-Qabalawi, professor of physiotherapy at Cairo University, told Al-Ahram Weekly the conference had given international travel agents a chance to see for themselves that Sharm El-Sheikh has the infrastructure necessary to attract large numbers of tourists.

In addition, “it was agreed during the conference that therapists should play a leading role in physically and psychologically rehabilitating those injured in terrorist acts,” said Al-Qabalawi.

The conference also recommended legislation on physiotherapy in Arab countries be amended to keep pace with the latest techniques used in Western Europe and the United States.

Al-Qabalawi revealed a protocol has been signed between Egyptian universities and a number of their European and American counterparts allowing Egyptian therapists to receive training abroad.

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