| ||The Egyptian minister of tourism has said increased flight capacity from the UK to Luxor is fundamental to growing tourism to the destination.
Speaking to Travel Weekly in Cairo, Hisham Zaazou said negotiations were already underway with carriers such as easyJet in an attempt to offer more options than Egypt Air's London to Luxor route.
He said: "In the good days we had around 1.4 million UK tourists a year, now it's under one million. We want to make up the difference."
The minister said UK tour operators had traditionally focused on Red Sea product rather than Cairo and Luxor, adding: "The appetite for cultural product had been lost."
He called on mainstream operators to broaden their product range to boost tourism numbers to the destination.
"From the UK point of view, tourism seems to be standing on one foot but we need to stand on both," he said. "There is an interest from specialist operators but we want to convince the big guys to do it [offer more cultural experiences]."
He added it could be mutually beneficial for airlines to fly to Luxor, with negotiations on air taxes and subsidies for unoccupied seats available.
Zaazou added that Egypt is now targeting the Chinese market to help boost visitor numbers to the country.|