Sitges beaches achieve the highest environmental certification awarded by the European Union

During last year all signposts have been unified, beach bars have been enhanced and a new urban plan has been presented. The Catalan coastal town of Sitges (20 km south from Barcelona) is ready for the sunny season.

CNA / Clàudia G. Novellón

April 15, 2011 09:39 PM

Sitges (ACN).- This year the beaches at Sitges have received a total of 13 distinctive EMAS (EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) awards, the highest environmental certification endowed by the European Union. Sitges has a total of 26 beaches, although only 13 are considered as urban beaches. The Sitges’ Councilman for Urban Space, Antonio Caballero, presented the report based on the analysis of the beaches during the summer of 2010 and highlighted the “good work done”. Among other improvements during last year, the signposts were renewed and unified on all the beaches, the space dedicated to the beach bars has been expanded and a new 5-year plan for urban use has been presented.

During the summer of 2010 weekend and national tourism increased over the previous year and beach hours were increased until midnight.

The Mayor of Sitges, Jordi Baijet, stressed that the beaches are “one of the most important assets” of the city. According to Baijet, the beaches at Sitges have undergone a “huge change” and a “lot of things still have to be done to attract new tourism sectors".

As for the weak spots listed in the report, the beaches at Sitges need to increase the number of stepping stones and signs banning dogs from beaches, as well as reinforce police presence to control the presence of dogs, vendors and masseurs, among other recommendations. The report points out these deficiencies so they can be improved throughout 2011

As regards other related figures, in 2010 the beach protection squad carried out 212 interventions, a number that represents a 28.4% drop on last year. The service charged with monitoring the sea carried out 2,023 preventive actions, 1,848 assists and 113 rescues. 59% of the rescue actions correspond to August, followed by July (19%) and September (16%).