Minister for Environment, Hannah Blythyn made a special visit RibRide at Menai Bridge – the only boat tour operator in Wales to hold Blue Flag status.
In 2017, RibRide became one the of first boat tour operators in the UK to be awarded the prestigious Blue Flag, reaching international standards in sustainability, safety and environmental education.
The Minister met with staff at RibRide before heading out on the water to explore the Menai Strait.
Speaking after the visit, the Minister said:
“The Blue Flag is a mark of the high coastal environment standards which is trusted around the globe. It helps recognise Wales’ high bathing water quality, practices of beach managers, marinas and boat tour operators – helping to promote Wales as an international destination. 2018 is Wales’ Year of the Sea this is a great time to show our fantastic coastline and coastal businesses to the world.”
Phil Scott from RibRide said:
“During our 12 years of operation we have worked hard as a team, and in collaboration with other quality businesses, to ensure that RibRide and the North Wales region is a desirable and sustainable destination for residents and visitors alike.
“Achieving Blue Flag sustainable boat tour operator status is a wonderful validation and endorsement of the top-quality boat tour our customers experience and should expect.”
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Blue Flag in Wales, which is owned by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). For three decades, Blue Flag has had a transformational impact on water quality, environmental awareness, management and services. The programme has developed to include marinas, boat tour operators, and most recently, private boat operators.
Blue Flag is operated in Wales by Keep Wales Tidy. Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy said:
“The award for sustainable boat tour operators reflects a growing interest in marine tourism. Visitors to RibRide can be sure they’ll receive a high-quality service that puts sustainability at the heart of their operations.
“We know there are boat tour operators and private boat owners across the country who are meeting these standards and we’d encourage them to get involved in this world-renowned programme.”
RibRide are demonstrating their environmental credentials by taking part in September’s All Wales Beach Clean. To register your own clean up event, visit www.keepwalestidy.cymru.