FOLLOWING criticism from the Ciudadanos party, the council in Almuñecar-La Herradura has wished to clarify the matter of its beaches’ flags and certificates.
In 2012, the PP party has explained, the council decided to give priority to the ‘Q for quality’ beach evaluation system, run by the ICTE (Spanish Tourism Quality Institute). Great effort was put into getting San Cristobal and La Herradura beaches recognised under this system in 2012, and they were followed the next year by Puerta del Mar and Velilla beaches.
These certifications are renewed each year following examination by external inspectors. These inspectors ensure on site that the beaches all meet the necessary requirements for hygiene and safety, lifeguard services, user information on signs in accessible areas, cleaning and facility maintenance.
These four beaches, the council stressed, are kept to the required standards as they are the most popular amongst both locals and visitors, as proved by surveys filled in during the year at tourist information points, where users are also invited to suggest improvements.
“Blue flags are not the only sign of quality, our beaches are a tourist attraction and we believe the Q for quality system is our best choice to keep them in the best condition possible,” a council spokesman insisted.