Blue Flag sta­tus a boon for tourism

Zululand Observer - Weekender - - ZO NEWS - Gugu Myeni

THE award­ing of full and pilot Blue Flag sta­tus for KZN beaches will be ben­e­fi­cial for tourism in the prov­ince.

This ac­cord­ing to MEC for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Tourism and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, Sihle Zikalala who ap­plauded the an­nounce­ment by Wildlife and En­vi­ron­ment So­ci­ety of South Africa (WESSA).

With nine beaches in KZN re­ceiv­ing full sta­tus, six north coast beaches were awarded pilot sta­tus.

Blythedale, Salt Rock, Wil­lard, Tin­ley Manor beaches in KwaDukuza and Dokod­weni South, as well as Tugela Mouth in Man­deni have all been awarded pilot sta­tus for the 2018/19 sea­son.

These beaches have been recog­nised for work­ing to­wards meet­ing the min­i­mum re­quire­ments for Blue Flag sta­tus in safety, ameni­ties, clean­li­ness and en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards.

The an­nounce­ment was made by WESSA ahead of the sea­son which will com­mence on 1 Novem­ber.

Zikalala said this is an in­di­ca­tion that the prov­ince is do­ing its part to­wards pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment from pol­lu­tion and man-made degra­da­tion while en­sur­ing that the rep­u­ta­tion as most pre­ferred do­mes­tic tourism des­ti­na­tion is not com­pro­mised.

‘Look­ing ahead, we now want to en­sure that we ex­pand our Blue Flag beaches by con­vert­ing the sta­tus of those beaches that have been iden­ti­fied as pilot sites,’ Zikalala said.

He added that the prov­ince would con­tinue to up­grade and main­tain its beach recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties and main­tain the high­est en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards in or­der to meet and even sur­pass the Blue Flag stan­dards.

In or­der for a beach to be awarded this pres­ti­gious sta­tus it must com­ply with a set of strin­gent cri­te­ria set by the Wildlife and En­vi­ron­ment So­ci­ety of South Africa and Blue Flag such as wa­ter qual­ity, en­vi­ron­men­tal, man­age­ment, safety and se­cu­rity, en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion and in­for­ma­tion.

Tin­ley Manor beach in KwaDukuza

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