Blue Flag status for beaches a boost for tourism

2017-10-11 06:00

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THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) announced last week that three of its beaches – Hobie, King’s and Humewood – have again been awarded full Blue Flag status by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA).

The announcement was made at an event held in Jeffreys Bay on October 4.

“This is a big boost for our efforts to make the city a major destination for sport tourism.

“We are working really hard to get other beaches to be awarded the same status,” said NMBM Executive Mayor Athol Trollip.

The coveted Blue Flag certificates – the most prestigious international award that could be bestowed on Nelson Mandela Bay’s beaches - were received by the NMBM Mayoral Committee member for Recreation, Arts and Culture, Councillor Siyasanga Sijadu.

He said the municipality’s hard work to ensure that the highest possible standards for amenities, cleanliness and environmental protection were maintained at the beaches concerned, has paid off.

“We want to position ourselves as a watersport capital: this is where we need to start, and we have already laid a good foundation. This is more confirmation that we are ready to host the World Ironman event next year,” Sijadu said.

Humewood, Hobie and King’s Beach would be flying the international eco-label, the Blue Flag, as a reassurance, especially to overseas visitors, that excellence in the areas of safety, amenities, cleanliness, environmental information and environmental management had been met – and that local beaches were ready for the thousands of visitors who would descend on them this holiday season.

A recent statement by the NMBM communications office said the success of the Blue Flag programme in Nelson Mandela Bay could be attributed to the commitment of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to provide beachgoers and holidaymakers with world-class beaches, offering safe, clean and well-managed facilities.

The municipality has now set its sights on attaining Blue Flag status for Wells Estate in terms of a pilot phase. The infrastructure at the Wells Estates Beach is in the process of being upgraded. The upgrade will focus on ablution facilities, a parking area, braai facilities and sewerage infrastructure. – REPORTER

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