State of Yucatan Receives First Blue Flag Certifications
After much hard work, the resort town of Progreso received welcome news from the International Network of Blue Flag sites about Blue Flag certification for two of its beaches: Malecón Tradicional and Malecón Internacional de Progreso The network is focused on preserving environmental assets and promoting responsible tourism.
Blue Flag status is a recognition awarded by the Europe-based Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to beaches and marinas that meet 33 established criteria of quality, safety, education and environmental information. In Mexico, 57 beaches in six states currently enjoy Blue Flag certification.
The promenades, piers and beaches at the Malecón Tradicional and Malecón Internacional de Progreso have been optimized with the support of the local community; the Port of Progreso; the city council; and the state's Ministry of Tourism (Sefotur), led by Michelle Fridman; as well as Governor of Yucatán Mauricio Vila Dosal and private companies committed to the port.
For his part, Progreso Mayor Julián Zacarías Curi thanked the staff of the Progreso City Council for the coordinated work involved; all those responsible for cleaning the beaches on a daily basis; and the citizens who cared for and maintained both beaches. "Definitely, working together and in order, is how great results are obtained," the mayor said.
It is important to reiterate that the campaign to obtain Blue Flag certification for both beaches, while aiming to improve the visitor experience and promote sustainable, also ensures both that local residents are given the certainty of living near a beach maintained to high standards and that those who depend on tourism for their livelihoods will see increased incomes.
The Blue Flag certifications are not only symbolic of a restart of Progreso's economy under the Tourist Reactivation Plan prepared by Sefotur at the beginning of the current Covid-19 health crisis but also strengthen the destination's position in negotiations with cruise lines aimed at increasing the arrival of more tourist cruises to the port. In addition, Yucatán is one of the only three Mexican destinations, so far, to be awarded the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) "Safe Travels" designation ensuring visitor safety.
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