Blue Flag teams up with ENAT to promote Beaches, Marinas and Boat-based activities for All

Blue Flag teams up with ENAT to promote Beaches, Marinas and Boat-based activities for All

The Foundation for Environmental Education, through its Blue Flag certification, long recognised as the global benchmark for sustainable beaches, marinas and boat-based activities around the world, has signed an agreement with ENAT – The European Network for Accessible Tourism non-profit association to work together to promote access for all visitors to beaches, marinas and boat-based activities.

While the Blue Flag standard already includes a number of requirements related to access provisions for persons with disabilities, the partners recognize that destinations can do more to improve beach, marina and boat-based experiences for these and, indeed, all visitors by providing suitable technical measures and assistance, where needed.

ENAT will share its wide-ranging experience in accessible tourism with Blue Flag International / Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), having worked over the last ten years to raise awareness, conduct research and develop solutions for better access for all in the tourism sector.

ENAT’s partners, clients and members include the UN World Tourism Organisation, the European Commission, European Parliament, ISO, national and regional tourism authorities, tourism enterprises and organisations of people with disabilities.

Speaking after signing the Memorandum of Understanding, Blue Flag International acting Director, Johann Durand said:

“Destinations that hold the Blue Flag have accepted the challenge and have a positive attitude to do better, both for the environment and for their visitors. Accessibility is a key area where good advice is needed – both for planning infrastructure in a sensitive but effective way and for providing services to ensure the health, comfort and safety of visitors with access requirements. We see our new cooperation with ENAT as a positive step towards achieving full inclusion – not just in word but also in practice at every Blue Flag destination.”

ENAT President, Anna Grazia Laura, remarked:

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“We are especially proud and pleased to launch the cooperation with Blue Flag. It is our common view that access is a global issue, which must be a priority for all tourism destinations and communities. We are looking forward to spreading this message and showing, with many good examples, how families, seniors, people with disabilities or with long-term health conditions – indeed, all visitors and citizens – can benefit from leisure experiences in sea and lakeside environments. We recognise Blue Flag’s reputation for authoritative and technical leadership in this area and we look forward to supporting the foundation and its global network in relation to policy, standards and education.”

Author: Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.

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