The Tourism Blue Flag project aims to improve the experience of local, domestic and international visitors to our beaches, while simultaneously providing youth with accredited training with the ultimate goal of developing them for further employment in the Blue Economy.
Since 2015, more than 200 participants have taken on the role of “Beach Stewards” at Blue Flag sites around the country with the aim of improving the experience for all visitors to these places. The Beach Stewards are hosted by local coastal municipalities, Non-Profit Organisations and commercial tourism operators and over busy school holiday periods, are based on our beaches. Here, the Beach Stewards are involved in activities such as monitoring of beach user activity and visitor trends; conducting visitor surveys; coordinating fun and interactive environmental education activities for school-going children; assisting lifeguards by helping to improve water safety at the beach; and helping beach managers to maintain the high Blue Flag standards. The Beach Stewards also receiving accredited training in environmental education and tourism guiding from WESSA over their learnership period.
Starting in 2020, WESSA will be implementing the “Child Safe Beaches” project with generous funding from the World Childhood Foundation. Through this project, WESSA will begin the implementation of the successful and award winning “ChildSafe Movement” programme, owned by Friends International. With this project, our Blue Flag Beach Stewards will integrate child safety protocols into their daily action plans at specified popular beaches where child safety issues have been recognised. This project will also carry out awareness campaigns and training interventions for local stakeholders in the travel and tourism sectors of these targeted sites.