Tourism Blue Flag Programme
The department is implementing the Tourism Blue Flag Programme utilising the EPWP principles to achieve the targeted number of jobs and tourists to our shores. The programme aims to promote a SAFE, CLEAN and HEALTHY environment, an improved tourism image which will attract a steadier flow of visitors, increased spending and a stimulated local economy. The department is implementing the programme in partnership with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). The World Tourism Organisation regards Blue Flag as the most well-known eco-label globally with over 4000 sites in over 40 countries.
The programme covers 50 beaches and is spread as follows: KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has 12 beaches, Eastern Cape (EC) has 11 beaches and Western Cape (WC) has 28 beaches. In the 2016/17 financial year, 200 youth were recruited to form part of the programme. In the 2017/18 financial year, the Tourism Green Coast Programme will add 25 beaches and 100 youth along the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape. These wild beaches have been identified to be part of the piloting of a new coastal award.
Blue Flag beaches need to adhere to several criteria, as follows:
The benefits of the Blue Flag Programme
Below is an illustration of where South Africa's Blue Flag beaches participating in the Programme are located:
The Tourism Blue Flag Programme has a budget of R 40, 000, 000 and will be implemented over 28 months.