The Western Cape has achieved the highest number of Blue Flag sites in the country, as recognised by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa).
Wessa announced the Blue Flag sites for 2016 into 2017, which will see a total of 58 South African coastal sites flying blue flags.
South African Blue Flag season officially opens on the 1st of November and the province boasts 29 blue flag beaches.
In addition, the accreditation has now expanded to recognise boating operators (eight) and marinas (four) falling in the province.
Wessa coordinator, Lance Anders explains that it is an important eco-label that helps the City of Cape Town maintain a high standard of tourism that can compete internationally.
It's quite an important eco-label because it helps the municipality maintain standards in line with Northern Hemisphere.— Lance Anders, Blue Flag Programme Coordinator at WESSA
He says the Blue Flag is a prestigious marker which is acknowledged by the World Tourism Organisation as one of the most well-known eco-labels globally.
Anders says that Blue Flag sites are well-maintained, and describes some of the criteria required to qualify:
- strict water quality standards for bathing
- safety and security and visible enforcement
- environmental management, maintenance and access
- environmental education programmed that help raise awareness
Listen to the full conversation from The Pippa Hudson Show: