By Member of the Board - Nikos Petrou
This was the first meeting of the Board of Directors for 2019, and the first physical meeting after the constitution of the new Board since last year’s Riga General Assembly. It was held in Mexico in order to support our newly established member there, FFE Mexico. The meeting was attended by all Board members (with the exception of our President who had other pressing commitments).
While in Mexico we had the opportunity to verify the excellent quality and high standards of Blue Flag beaches and marinas, as well as Green Key hotels, through on site visits, and talk with hotel and beach managers and representatives of local and state and federal government, highlighting our support of the national operator.
We were all impressed by the drive and commitment of FEE Mexico CEO Joaquin Diaz and his staff, who have managed, in little over a year, to increase the numbers of beaches, marinas, hotels and schools participating in the programmes, including a notable 153 Green Key hotels. We were equally impressed by their excellent working relationship with local managers and administrators, and by the trust and respect shown by the latter towards FEE programmes.
The generous and warm hospitality extended by our hosts throughout the visit was certainly one of its highlights. For me, however, the most memorable moment was on the last, optional, day of the trip, when we visited a marine protected area in the Sea of Cortez established for the protection of the rare whale sharks. There we had the opportunity to witness sustainable management in practice, with strictly controlled ecotouristic activities benefiting the local community, generating funds for conservation and ensuring safety and survival of the whale sharks. A highly successful example, truly in the FEE spirit.