‘Blue’ has a positive connotation

2016-10-13 06:00

LAST week the minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom was down here to announce the national 2016/2017 Blue Flag beaches and given this is the second time in three years that the South Coast has hosted this important event. The day at Marina Beach was something special.

Not only was the minister here, but in attendance was the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs and the CEO of Tourism KZN. Having tourism big guns down here was important for us so we could impress them and the attendant media with our tourism assets and developmental programmes.

Needless to say, with seven of our beaches announced, South Coast once again came out tops. The Ray Nkonyeni Municipality not only has the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in KwaZulu-Natal, it has the highest number of permanently managed Blue Flag beaches in South Africa.

The bench marks set by the Blue Flag programme aligns our beaches with the best in the world and for us as Ugu South Coast Tourism this affords us a great opportunity within our destination sell.

For this reason, part of our branding not only includes our strong South Coast brand but we also incorporate the Blue Flag logo in our promotional collateral.

It was interesting that the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa, who drive the Blue Flag programme are soon to introduce another brand geared towards the hospitality industry.

Called the Green Key Programme, this initiative will set standards for the accommodation providers to have environmentally acceptable operations and properties which in my opinion is the way to go.

So as summer hits our shores with our blue seas beckoning and beach flags flying it is an optimistic start towards our busiest season of the year.

Feeling blue has a far more positive connotation here in the paradise of the Zulu kingdom.

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