Spain once again tops the world rankings for Blue Flags

by Lorraine Williamson
Blue flags

Spain has been awarded a total of 729 Blue Flags this year. This is six more than last year. Moreover, 621 flags have been awarded to beaches, 103 to marinas and five to tourist boats. The Blue Flag is an international eco-label. 

18 beaches in Spain were awarded Blue Flags for the first time. These include;

  • La Casita Azul (Isla Cristina, Huelva)
  • Escollera (Cullera, Valencia)
  • Porto Suevos (Arteixo, La Coruña).  

Consequently, the beaches of Spain, with the Valencian Community at the top, remain the global leaders. Moreover, this position was already acquired in 1994. Furthermore, Spain accounts for 15% of the total number of awards, followed by Greece and Turkey. The number of marinas awarded the status increased by seven this year. Therefore, with 103 marinas, Spain is the third country after the Netherlands and France.  

Also read: Smoke-free beaches in Spain

New municipalities 

Seven new municipalities have been awarded a Blue Flag. This brings the total to 250. Together, they have nominated 691 beaches as candidates for the award (15 more than last year), representing 43% of the beaches with excellent water quality. Moreover, 89% of the candidate beaches have been awarded the Blue Flag.  

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Stimulus to tourism 

Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, reiterated that Spain has ‘the best quality and best prepared beaches’ waiting for tourists to ‘enjoy them this summer’, expressing confidence that this will encourage tourists to visit Spain.  

Valdés stressed that after the biggest crisis in the history of the tourism sector, Spain ‘has not only regained what it had, but is also deploying an unprecedented amount of resources’ to restore and maintain its leading position in tourism.  

The International Blue Flag Jury 2022 for the Northern Hemisphere, chaired by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), has awarded 5,042 ‘Blue Flags’ in 74 countries, 4,194 for beaches, 732 for marinas and 116 for tourist boats. 

See the complete list of Spanish beaches awarded Blue Flags here. 

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