Mallorca's Blue Flag beaches 2022. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

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The Balearics will have 45 'Blue Flags' on beaches and marinas this summer, one more than last year when there were 44, according to the Secretary of State for Tourism.

The islands will have 30 'Blue Flags' on beaches in Mallorca, Ibiza and Minorca, and 15 in marinas. In comparison to 2021, Ibiza loses three blue flags on the beaches of Benirrás (Sant Joan de Labritja) and Cala Llonga and Santa Eulària (Santa Eulària des Riu), but Mallorca recovers two blue flags in Cala Barques and Cala Molins (Pollensa). It has also added two blue flags for marinas: Club Náutico Cala Gamba (Palma) and Club Náutico Porto Cristo (Manacor).

Nationally, Spain has obtained a total of 729 'Blue Flags' (621 beaches, 103 marinas and five tourist boats) that will fly from June - 16 more than last year, with Valencia being the leading region for the number of beaches with a 'Blue Flag'.

Spain's beaches, which this year have been awarded six more 'Blue Flags', maintain the top world ranking they achieved in 1994 with 15% of the total number of awards, followed by Greece and Turkey. In terms of marinas, which this year have increased by seven, Spain is the third country behind the Netherlands and France.

The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, pointed out that Spain has "the best quality and best prepared beaches" for tourists to "enjoy this summer", stressing his confidence that they will be an incentive for tourists to visit Spain.

Valdés stressed that after the biggest crisis in the history of the tourism sector, Spain "has not only recovered what it had, but is deploying an unprecedented volume of resources" to recover and maintain its leading position in tourism.

The International Blue Flag Jury 2022 for the northern hemisphere, which is 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.

The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.

Central to the ideals of the Blue Flag programme is the aim of connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment. As such, environmental education activities must be offered and promoted in addition to a permanent display of information relevant to the site in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems and environmental phenomena.

This year, the Blue Flag programme is celebrating its 35th anniversary, as it started back in 1987. Sites that are part of the Blue Flag network all over the world are celebrating together the 35 years during which the programme has been continuously evolving and increasing its efforts to provide environmental education, to ensure the protection of the marine environment and human health, to improve accessibility, and to implement safety worldwide.