Blue Flag is an international annual award which focuses on the environmental management of our coastline and coastal waters to help tourism growth and development. Although it’s a voluntary eco-label, it’s become an international symbol of quality for beaches, boats and marinas that meet a standard of excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management.
Blue Flag has been in operation since 1987 and, according to the World Tourism Organisation, it is the most well-known eco-label of its kind. More than 40 countries across the globe are participating in the programme with almost 4,300 Blue Flag beaches, boats and marinas around the world. South Africa was the first country outside Europe to be granted Blue Flag accreditation for its beaches and the programme has been locally managed by WESSA since 2001 in partnership with participating coastal municipalities. The strict criteria of the programme are set by the international coordinators of the Blue Flag campaign in Europe, FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).
The Blue Flag programme offers many benefits: improved tourism facilities, enhanced management of coastal ecosystems, increased awareness of the coast and capacity building of coastal municipalities.
The trusted eco-label provides our local beach-goers and domestic and international holiday-makers with the assurance of world class beaches offering safe, clean and well-managed facilities.
Sites are required to reapply each year to be considered for the Blue Flag award and applications are reviewed by a national and international jury.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the Blue Flag season runs annually from 1 November to 31 October.
Visit the international Blue Flag website for more information about this global eco-label.