Festive season ushers in prestigious awards and recognition for South Africa

The month of October has brought in a wave of awards and accolades for the scenic beauty of South Africa

Festive season ushers in prestigious awards and recognition for South Africa

The month of October has brought in a wave of awards and accolades for the scenic beauty of South Africa. Eight beaches of Cape Town along with two of the City’s marinas have been recently awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Status. The announcement was made by National Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, while speaking at the National Blue Flag launch event at Grotto Beach in Hermanus. On the other hand, Johannesburg’s Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens in Johannesburg were recently included among Huffington Post list of 13 of the best botanical gardens in the world.

Clean beaches, hygienic sanitation facilities, spacious parking, environmentally sound, safe, secure to visit and adhering to international safety and tourism standards, have helped Cape Town beaches win the prestigious Blue Flag status. The Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded annually to over 3,650 beaches and marinas in 44 countries across Europe, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean. The City has successfully participated in the Blue Flag Beach Programme since its inception in South Africa in 2001.

Following beaches have been awarded Blue Flag status for this season, which runs from 1 December 2012 to 31 March 2013:

•  Bikini •  Mnandi •   Strandfontein •   Muizenberg •   Llandudno •  Camps Bay •  Clifton 4th • Silwerstroomstrand

Commenting on these announcements, Ms. Hanneli Slabber, Country Head, South African Tourism, India, said, “At South African Tourism we are thrilled to have received such accolades. Awards mean our effort towards maintaining our tourist attractions as per international standards has been recognised. This recognition, for Cape Town beaches, comes at the most opportune time when the popularity of Cape Town beaches is soaring among Indian travelers post the recent hit Hindi film song ‘Tumhi ho Bandhu’. Blue Flag beaches and marinas are significant from tourism standpoint because international visitors know what to expect when visiting a Blue Flag beach or marina. Similarly the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens of Johannesburg has made us proud. The beautiful gardens are great picnic spots and off-late have been attracting many Indian Tourists as well. Going forward, we will be continuing our efforts towards enhancing the standards of our tourist attractions to welcome many more Indian and global tourists to South Africa.”

Indian tourist arrivals to South Africa between January-June 2012 saw a jump of close to 21.2%. The travel numbers has increased from 43,979 in the same period last year to 53,291 in 2012. According to the latest figures South Africa has received 10,006 Indians in June 2012.