Italy’s blue-flag beaches rise further
Liguria top region for clean water, sustainability
Liguria in northwest Italy has once again retained its title as the region with the highest number of Blue Flag beaches in 2017, as the total number of resorts in Italy to be given the prestigious eco-label for cleanliness and sustainability rises even further than last year, the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) said on Monday.
Liguria, with 27 locations, is followed, as last year, by Tuscany (19) and the Marche (17) for the regions with the most Blue Flag beaches.
In 2017, for the 30th edition of the blue flag beaches report, Italy’s total has risen to 342 beaches, a full 5% of the worldwide total.
Campania was awarded 15 Blue Flag beaches this year with a new location (Sapri), and Puglia holds steady this year with 11, while Abruzzo has eight (two new locations: Giulianova and Roseto degli Abruzzi) and Emilia Romagna loses one, with six remaining.
Veneto and Lazio both maintained their eight Blue Flag locations from 2016, while on the island of Sardinia there are 11, and Sicily rose to seven with a new location (Santa Teresa di Riva).
Calabria has two new entries this year (Roseto Capo Spulico and Soverato) for a total of seven, while Molise lost one and fell to two overall, Fruili Venezia Giulia maintained Blue Flags for both of its beaches from last year’s list, and Basilicata also stayed at two.
FEE is a partner of the UN “International Year of Sustainable Tourism”, and FEE Italy President Claudio Mazza said 2017 is showing an upward trend in growth at Blue Flag sites.
Mazza said the trend shows how local governments have embraced new challenges for sustainable development, “putting the land-sea connection at the forefront”.
“The health of the sea is directly correlated with how the land is managed,” he said.
Launched in 1987, the FEE’s Blue Flag program uses strict criteria on water quality, environmental education and management, safety and services to monitor sustainable development of beaches and marinas worldwide.