Over 99% of island paradise’s beaches given excellent rating by EU report
Cyprus’ deserved reputation as an all-weather beach vacation paradise, received a further boost, with a recent EU report indicating that the island’s beaches boast the cleanest water in all of Europe and is considered the best for swimming in the continent.
According to the report which is published annually, tests carried out by the European Authority for Environment found that 111 of the 112 water locations tested in Cyprus were of ‘excellent’ standard, making 99.1% of the island’s swimming and water sports venues confirm to the highest EU standards of water quality and environmental excellence.
The report also indicated that beaches in Malta, Croatia and Greece were next best with over 90% excellence rating, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Spain and France follow next in terms of water quality, while beaches in the Netherlands and Belgium brought up the rear of the list of European water locations.
“The EU report underlines the world-class facilities available at Cyprus’ famed beaches,” said Vassilis Theocharides, Director for the Middle East, Cyprus Tourism Organisation. “Blessed with great climate the year around, the island offers an ideal setting for leisure and incentive travellers from the Middle East, being just a short flight away from most regional population centres.”
Maintaining the best possible standards for their myriad beaches and marinas has always been high on the priority list for Cyprus’ tourism authorities. Currently Cyprus holds the world record for having the highest number of blue flag beaches per capita with 56 in all studded all along the island’s blue water coastline. Cyprus also boasts the densest concentration of beaches classified blue flag in the world.
The Blue Flag is an exclusive eco-label which has been awarded to over 3.450 beaches and marinas in 41 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean. The initiative was launched in 1987, during the European Year for the Environment, and is coordinated and run by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
It contributes towards sustainable development at beaches/marinas through strict criteria dealing with water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and other services. Being a symbol of environmental quality, the Blue Flag serves as an incentive for local authorities and the private sector to take measures for the overall improvement of the coastal areas in accordance with the above-mentioned criteria.
Many Middle East nationals and residents are familiar with the island’s myriad charms, having visited Cyprus before. Lying at the maritime crossroads of three continents, Cyprus is literrally where East meets West and a new experience awaits the visitor under the sun every day.
The Cyprus Tourism Organisation has been active with new tourism measures in the Middle East market which include initiatives of joint promotions with tour operators and airlines. These measures have paid off as Cyprus has become a key destination in the region and increased flight accessibility.
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