Over 60 coordinators from 45 countries attended the International Blue Flag Coordinators Meeting organized by the International Environment Education Foundation (FEE) and hosted by the Turkey Environment Education Foundation (TURCEV) was held over the weekend in the Manavgat district of Antalya province.
"Turkey ranks third after Spain and Greece in the number of blue flags in marinas and beaches. Turkey became a member country 10 years ago and has now turned into one of the countries that best apply the criteria of blue flag," said Bolding Thomsen, CEO of FEE.
Interest in the Blue Flag Project, which began in European 10 years ago and awards beaches that employ sound environmental policy, is increasing, with countries including New Zealand, Canada and the Caribbean hoping to participate.
"We will focus on educational works to develop environmental sensitivity and consciousness, which is best exemplified by the Green Key Project," Thomsen said.
Highlighting that Turkey has become closely involved with the Blue Flag project, Riza Epikmen, chairman of TURCEV, added, "Many tourism facilities and marinas in Turkey compete with each other to acquire a blue flag. This is important progress for both Turkey and tourism. Our aim is to rank first in the number of blue flags. It is a must to own clean coasts to achieve sustainability in tourism."