Greece has ranked second in the world for the Blue Flag quality award list of beaches, marinas and sustainable tourism boats.
With 497 award-winning beaches, 14 marinas and 6 sustainable tourism boats, Greece ranked second – after Spain in first place – among 47 countries.
The announcement of the results was made public by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (HSPN). It should be noted that this year, amongst all the countries participating in the program, Greece made up 13% of the total number of beaches awarded by the program this year.
Like last year, most of Greece’s Blue Flags (94), went to beaches in Halkidiki, northern Greece.
The release of the Blue Flag list coincides with the reopening of organised beaches in Greece, as the country has entered the 3rd stage of easing Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
“The Blue Flag program has a special significance for Greek tourism,” Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said. “Apart from confirming the high quality services offered in Greece’s beaches, marinas and tourism boats, this year, Blue Flags symbolise our desire and willingness to return to normality,” he added.
The Blue Flag Program is a world-renowned eco-label trusted by millions around the globe and is operated under the auspices of the Foundation for Environmental Education, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. In order to qualify for this prestigious award, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria must be met and maintained. Through close collaboration with their members, the Foundation for Environmental Education works to ensure the programme’s expansion, and that the unrivalled standards of the Blue Flag are maintained internationally.
Furthermore, the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) sees Greece’s ranking as an additional way to promote Greece: “With the Blue Flag recognition, this year, Greek tourism can offer an excellent combination of nature and high-quality services to Greek citizens and international travellers: Natural beauty, variety of locations, health and environmental safety in Greek seas and beaches. This is the image that the GNTO wishes to promote.”