56 CYPRUS BEACHES ATTRACT TOURISTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Flags promote sustainable development and environmental education
Fifty six Cyprus beaches have been awarded Blue Flags this year by an international jury, signifying their compliance to stringent environmental regulations, according to an announcement by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO).
The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label which has been awarded to over 3,450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean. The initiative was launched in 1987, during the European Year for the Environment, and is coordinated and run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
It contributes towards sustainable development at beaches/marinas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environment education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services. Being a symbol of environmental quality, the Blue Flag serves as an incentive for local authorities and the private sector to take measures for the overall improvement of the coastal areas in accordance with the above-mentioned criteria.
Cyprus, as a Mediterranean tourism destination, has recognised the importance of this campaign as one way in which tourism can be better integrated with the coastal environment. With the initiative of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the cooperation of the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA), the local authorities and the relevant government bodies, Cyprus has introduced the European Blue Flag Campaign and become a full member of the FEE in 1995.
In 1996, 11 beaches were awarded “Blue Flag Pennants” and in 1997, 18 more beaches were awarded “Blue Flags”, 13 “European Blue Flags” and 5 “Blue Flag Pennants”. Since then, the number of Blue Flag beaches has been increasing, reaching 54 in 2010.
The Cypriot beaches awarded this year are: Paralimni(9): Kappari, Agia Triada, Louma, Pernera, Vrysi A’ & B’ & C’, Protaras and Nisia Lombardi, Agia Napa(14): Konnos Bay, Kermia, Ammos tou Kambouri, Glyki Nero, Pantachou, Loukkos tou Manti, Katsarka, Pernera, Vathia Gonia, Nissi, Nissi Bay, Lanta, Macronissos and Agia Thekla, Voroklini(1): Yannathes, Larnaka (3): Phinikoudes, Kastella and Mckenzie, Pervolia (1): Faros Beach, Pentakomo (2): Kalymnos beach–CTO and Governor’s Beach, Pyrgos (2): Aoratoi, Panagies, Parekklisia (1): Community Beach, Agios Tychon (7): Santa Barbara, Loures, Vouppa, Aphrodite, Armonia, Onisilos and Castella, Agios Athanasios (1): Miami, Lemesos (2): Akti Olympion A & B, Pissouri (1): Pissouri Beach, Geroskipou (2): Municipal beach–CTO and Pachyammos 1, Pafos (6): Pachyammos, Vrysoudia A & B, Alykes, Municipal Baths and Faros [Pafos], Pegeia (2): Coral Bay and Laourou, Polis Chrysochous (2): Municipal beach, Dasoudi beach-CTO.