Plett hosts WESSA Blue Flag Awards 

WESSA 2022-2023 Blue Flag Ceremony on Lookout Beach
Published: November 22nd, 2022

Eight international Blue Flags for Plett’s 2022/2023 Season

Plettenberg Bay was proud to play host to the national WESSA (Wildlife & Environment Society of South Africa) Blue Flag ceremony for 2022/2023 at Lookout Beach on Thursday 3 November 2022.

Plett was selected as the official venue for the ceremony which recognises international Blue Flag status beaches, sustainable boating tourism operators and marinas throughout South Africa, and are thrilled to be awarded Blue Flag status for six beaches and two boats – a total of eight Blue Flag awards.

Plett Tourism CEO, Patty Butterworth, “We are very honoured and privileged, with efforts made by the Bitou Municipality, to have won the opportunity to actually have the launch here. It is the first time that Plett has hosted the launch. We once again received Blue Flag status for our six beaches and, once again, two Blue Flag boats for Offshore Adventures. In fact, they are the only two boats in South Africa to have achieved Blue Flag status, which is very exciting for us!” She is enthusiastic about these accolades for Plett, “It’s a great testament to who we are as a community, that we are able to use and look after our natural resources because our beaches are one of our most unique tourism selling points. The preservation and conservation of the beaches can be one of our greatest legacies.”

2022-2023 Wessa Ceremony with Offshore Adventure’s Jaco Kruger, WESSA’s Helena Atkinson, Bitou Mayor Dave Swart and Jonga Kuhlan Director of Tourism Programmes, National Department of Tourism
2022-2023 Wessa Ceremony with Offshore Adventure’s Jaco Kruger, WESSA’s Helena Atkinson, Bitou Mayor Dave Swart and Jonga Kuhlan Director of Tourism Programmes, National Department of Tourism

Blue Flag is one of the most recognisable voluntary eco-labels in the world with 4500 sites in more than 45 countries. In order to qualify for the coveted Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained. In South Africa, Blue Flag is administered by WESSA, an organisation that has, for the past 90 years, proactively engaged with the challenges and opportunities of our country’s unique natural heritage, and the social and economic opportunities that depend on it.

“Today we opened the season for the Blue Flag Programme – the 2022/2023 Blue Flag season,” Helena Atkinson of WESSA noted, “Today is a very special day, it’s a day that we celebrate the municipalities and all their hard work – the boat owners, the marinas –  people that put in a lot of work to ensure that our beaches are safe, our water is clean, that there are lifeguards on duty, environmental education happens at the beaches, the facilities are clean and in good condition – it’s a wonderful programme that celebrates the quality beaches that we have in South Africa.”

Plettenberg Bay is regularly nominated amongst Africa’s leading beach destinations and retained Blue Flag status for the same six beaches and two boats as in previous years. Bitou Mayor, Dave Swart recognises this as an indication that Bitou Municipality and partners continue to provide a world-class beach-going experience for visitors and locals alike. He said at the ceremony on Lookout Beach, “It shows that Plett continues doing what it has set out to do. The Blue Flag status shows that we are looking after our environment, that we’re taking care of our area and we’re making our visitors’ and our locals’ experiences at the beaches a pleasant one.”

Plett’s Blue Flag beaches for the 2022/2023 season are Robberg 5, Lookout Beach, Keurboomstrand, The Dunes, Singing Kettle and Nature’s Valley beaches – six of Plett’s most beautiful beaches. And, as an extra benefit for Plett, Offshore Adventures has again secured two sustainable Blue Flag boats – surprisingly, the only two boats to receive Blue Flag recognition in South Africa for this season. Another accolade for a town that takes pride in its natural resources and works as a community to share knowledge and preserve our pristine marine environments.

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