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Cape Town awarded seven Blue Flag beach awards

Cape Town awarded seven Blue Flag beach awards (Forimmediaterelease.net) The new season of Blue Flag South Africa was launched at Muizenberg beach on Thursday, October 29, 2009, with no less than 29 South African beaches (up from last year’s 19) being awarded Blue Flag status. Seven of these beaches are found in Cape Town.

Commenting on the achievement, Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du-Toit Helmbold said that the Blue Flag endorsement was a thumbs-up for tourism, “International travelers have confidence in the Blue Flag indicator. Having as many Blue Flag-graded beaches as we do, accurately suggests that the Cape coastline is not only beautiful but well-maintained and protected as one of our greatest resources.”

Blue Flag is an international annual award given to beaches that meet excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information, and environmental management. The Blue Flag program is currently run in over 40 countries globally and interest in the program continues to grow. There are now over 4,000 Blue Flag beaches and marinas around the world. In South Africa, the program is run by WESSA, the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa, in partnership with participating local authorities. Blue Flag helps to contribute to the aims of the White Paper on Sustainable Coastal Development.

Commenting on the improved accolade, Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism, said: “It is critical that we offer both domestic and international visitors clean, safe, and well-managed beaches. The main catalyst for the increase in the number of Blue Flag beaches has been the opportunities that have arisen as a result of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Municipalities participating in the program have seen the benefits of having Blue Flag beaches and wish to be in a position to offer and promote their Blue Flag beaches to 2010 visitors and those who plan to return to South Africa in the future.”

Local authorities report a number of spin-offs from being awarded Blue Flag status, including an increase in visitors, improved behavior on the part of beach-goers, property prices rising for homes near Blue Flag beaches, and visitors enjoying a well cared-for and managed beach.

CAPE TOWN’S BLUE FLAG BEACHES

Big Bay beach, Bloubergstrand Cape Town (new)
Clifton 4th beach, Cape Town
Camps Bay, Cape Town
Muizenberg, Cape Town
Strandfontein beach, Cape Town
Mnandi beach, Cape Town
Bikini beach, Gordon’s Bay

REST OF SOUTH AFRICA’S BLUE FLAG BEACHES

Yzerfontein Main beach, Yzerfontein (new)
MacDougall’s Bay, Port Nolloth (new)
Kleinmond beach, near Hermanus (back in program)
Hawston beach, near Hermanus
Grotto beach, Hermanus
Lappiesbaai, Stilbaai, Southern Cape
Santos beach, Mossel Bay (new)
Hartenbos beach, Mossel Bay (new)
Robberg 5 beach, Plettenberg Bay (new)
Dolphin beach, Jeffrey’s Bay
Humewood beach, Port Elizabeth
Hobie beach, Port Elizabeth
Wells Estate, north of Port Elizabeth
Kelly’s beach, Port Alfred
Kariega Main beach, Kenton-on-Sea (new)
Boknes beach, Kenton-On-Sea (new)
Gonubie beach, East London (back in program)
Trafalgar beach, south coast Kzn (new)
Marina beach, south coast Kzn
Ramsgate beach, near Margate
Margate beach
Alkantstrand, Richards Bay (new)

Rabbit in a Hat Communications Email: brenda@rabbitinahat.co.za Phone: + 27 21 447 3197, + 27 82 961 9433 Cape Town Tourism Mariette du Toit-Helmbold CEO Email: mariette@capetown.travel Phone: + 27 21 487 6800, + 27 83 225 5955

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