Three More Blue Flags Fly For Durban Beaches!!
Blue Flags have been awarded to 25 beaches and marinas in Kwa-ZuluNatal. This is great news for the province and it’s tourists, as this boosts the tourism rankings for the city. Three more Blue Flags have been awarded, Anstey’s on the Bluff, Umhlanga and Westbrook.
For many that are unfamiliar with what a Blue Flag is, it is regarded by the World Tourism Organisation as the most well-known eco-label globally.
Blue Flag is an international annual award given to beaches that meet a standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management.
Currently, more than 40 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean are participating in the programme and interest in the programme continues to grow with almost 4,000 Blue Flag beaches and marinas around the world.
Some of the many benefits benefits to beaches and marinas that win the award include improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacity building of coastal municipalities.
In total, South Africa has 82 Blue Flag sites, consisting of 45 beaches, 6 marinas and 6 whale-watching, commercial or private boats. These are awarded full status flags while 25 sites have been awarded Pilot Status. This is an important development stage for these areas, building up enough to gain full status flags in the future.
The awarded beaches in Kwa-Zulu Natal are as follows:
Park Rynie (P)
Scottburgh Main (P)
Dodokweni North (P)
Dodokweni Main (P)
Umdloti Main (P)
Umdloti Tidal (P)
Umhlanga Main (P)
Economic Benefit of The Blue Flag
Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom said that investing in the environment has significant economic benefits. Last year, Mr. Charles Preece, chairman of the east coast region of the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa was quoted saying, “The economic benefits of having these flags on our beaches are huge because the environment is a big thing in Europe and America. It would certainly improve the image of the country abroad because tourists would feel safe in coming here and enjoying our waters.”
We are glad that so many beaches in Kwa-Zulu Natal have applied for the Blue Flag Status and that so many have been granted either full or pilot status.
What are your thoughts on how beach areas can be improved? Let us know in the comments below.