The St. Maarten Tourist Bureau recently announced that Divi Little Bay Beach and Isle de Sol Yacht Club have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag eco-label, making St. Maarten the first country in the Dutch Caribbean to have Blue Flag locations.
Both locations were required to advance certain aspects of their facilities and meet stringent international criteria in order to be considered for the eco-label.
The Blue Flag is awarded to beaches or marinas that meet a specific set of criteria concerning environmental information and education, water quality, safety, services and environmental management.
The program is designed to raise environmental awareness and increase sound environmental practices among residents, tourists, marina, beach or resort management and staff. The eco-label has become an international symbol of quality recognized by governments, non-governmental organizations and tour operators and is used for the promotion of the awarded beach, marina or destination.
The Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) partnered with the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau in 2008 to work towards establishing the Blue Flag Program on St. Maarten. Since then, the program has enjoyed the full support of Minister Franklin Meyers, interim Director of Tourism May-Ling Chun and their respective predecessors. The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, the St. Maarten Timeshare Association and the Marine Trades Association are also enthusiastic supporters of the efforts to bring the Blue Flag eco-label home to St. Maarten.