US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Finally, the Northern hemisphere summer 

It’s been a rough patch in the past few months for the tourism sector, and we’ve all be working extra hard to ensure the summer is as smooth as possible for everyone. We’ve kicked off the Northern Hemisphere summer, and a vast majority of our awarded beaches, tourism boats and marinas are ready to receive their visitors. Unfortunately some of them are facing issues due to COVID-19 and we hope they will be able to fly the Blue Flag and open as soon as possible. If you have a doubt, you can always check their status on our international website 

Our partner Werner & Mertz has also been extremely busy in adapting and participating in the common efforts to limit COVID-19 through their international eco-friendly cleaning products, and we are extremely happy to share in more details how they have done that in this newsletter.

Last but not least, our best practice competition highlights amazing actions against pollution, which we will share with you all summer.

We will be back in September, and in the meantime, we hope that you will all stay safe and be able to enjoy a smooth summer to lessen the hardships from the past months.

To keep in touch with our international network’s activities, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

We hope you enjoy this newsletter, feel free to share it with your own network!

Sophie Bachet Granados

International Blue Flag Director

News from Blue Flag Global

Keeping the momentum of the 2020 UN Ocean Conference

The 2020 UN Ocean conference has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Blue Flag International would like to keep the momentum going and share our contributions to the protection of the ocean and marine resources and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Read more.
Werner & Mertz for a sustainable transformation of our post-COVID 19 world
Blue Flag’s partner Werner & Mertz Professional urges for a stronger focus on sustainability in our post-COVID 19 world and supports their clients in being part of this transformation. Read more.
National news from our members
Gozo Blue Flag beach event raises awareness about water and beach pollution in Malta
Friday 26th June 2020 was a special day at the Blue Flag awarded Hondoq ir-Rummien beach in Gozo, Malta. Different activities were organised by Nature Trust – FEE Malta to raise awareness about water and beach pollution. Read more.

A Blue Flag beach in the large tourist city of Odessa, Ukraine, democratically won the “Best Beach of Odessa” award
Last December 2019 was the launch of the first edition of the “Best Beach of Odessa” award in Ukraine and the Blue Flag awarded Caleton Beach was declared the winner by the public’s vote. Read more.
Swim Drink Fish Canada has become the new national operator for Blue Flag Canada!
Swim Drink Fish proudly supports Blue Flag sites across Canada on behalf of the Foundation for Environmental Education.
The Blue Flag International Jury meeting in April was also the occasion to select the winners of the first edition of the Blue Flag Best Practice Competition. The competition was created to highlight the best examples of environmental protection practices implemented by Blue Flag sites around the world.
The theme of the inaugural 2020 competition was pollution, and the International Jury had to choose between many excellent best practices submitted by Blue Flag sites. We would like to thank all of the participants for sharing their inspiring efforts towards reducing pollution!
To check out more of our best practices from our international network, use our search tool here.
#B7arblaplastic: Plastic Free Beaches Action
The winner, the “#B7arblaplastic: Plastic Free Beaches Action” campaign, was implemented over nearly three months in summer 2019 in diverse municipalities in Morocco.

The campaign raised awareness about plastic pollution and educated beach users, particularly young people, about the importance of buying fewer plastic-packaged products and putting a stop to plastic litter. The main activities carried out by the campaign included group beach clean-ups, environmental awareness campaigns and big events planned around Plastic Bag Free Day and World Cleanup Day. In total, participants in the campaign collected almost 500 tons of plastic waste from Moroccan beaches! Read more.

“Think Before You Flush” community awareness campaign
In second place, the Blue Flag International Jury selected the “Think Before You Flush” community awareness campaign that took place in Bundoran, County Donegal, Ireland!
The campaign launched in 2019 aimed at preventing the flushing of unsuitable items down the toilet, such as wet wipes, cotton buds, sanitary products and other items. Flushing inappropriate items causes costly blockages in homes, businesses and wastewater systems, and ultimately leads to sewer overflows and plastic pollution in rivers, on beaches and in the ocean. Read more.

Goby – what does the fish eat?
In third place, the International Jury selected “Goby – what does the fish eat?” from Portugal.
Three municipalities, Alcobaça, Tavira and Cantanhede, have positioned giant fish-shaped metallic structures on their Blue Flag beaches, and beach-goers are encouraged to deposit plastic waste into the fish to be recycled. The initiative raises awareness about the amount of plastic that is thrown away, the problem of plastic pollution and the importance of recycling. Read more.
Blue Flag is proud to be featured in a news article from The Times Chile!
In this article, Chile government officials are promoting the Blue Flag as necessary for their beaches and marinas as a symbol of safety in this era of #Covid19. During a virtual colloquium organised by the Chilean Maritime League, Senador Kenneth Pugh, the senator for the Valparaíso Region in Chile, raised the need for beaches and ports in Chile to be Blue Flag awarded.
The fact that, particularly in these uncertain times, more and more tourists are looking for beaches following stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria was one of the key highlights. Furthermore, the senator promoted the Blue Flag award as a mean to boost local economies, promote sustainability as well as environmental awareness and education.