Green Sail began as a Sail Croatia initiative to encourage sustainable travel and make a positive impact, and as of today it launches as its own program!
The Green Sail project began in 2014 as part of Sail Croatia and launches today as its own program. Considering I worked on yachts around Dalmatia for 5 years and saw very little in the way of sustainable practices, I was excited to hear more about the project, so reached out to Ornella Krezic, the Green Sail Ambassador to learn more.
What is Green Sail and why was it created?
First and foremost, the Adriatic Sea is our most precious jewel, so keeping it clean is our number one priority! Hence, Green Sail Adventure was created in order to educate and raise awareness among all stakeholders about the necessity of a sustainable approach to tourism. As the tourism industry grows, so too does the strain on infrastructure and resources for waste disposal, so there is a greater need for sustainable tourism practices. The Green Sail Adventure promotes a clean and preserved Adriatic Sea and envisions ‘Green Tourism’ in Croatia to be a future trend. Green Sail tour concentrates on beach clean ups, educating locals and tourists alike on the importance of sustainable tourism.
Green Sail was a part of Sail Croatia, but I understand it is launching as its own program, what is the reason for this move?
As tourism is one of the largest socio-economic sectors, Sail Croatia has put a lot of effort in the past decade to stimulate economic growth and business opportunities in Dalmatia, as well as to improve the overall well-being of local communities,
The Green Sail tour will remain a part of Sail Croatia’s efforts to prove how responsible travel can contribute to the development of sustainable tourism. However, recently, Green Sail has turned into something much bigger – a project that could stand on its own. Green Sail initiative aims to promote recycling and other forms of sea protection among both travellers and the travel industry.
What is the main focus of Green Sail?
To start a conversation, to get people talking about recycling and encourage sustainable change in areas of high levels of tourism, such as Split. Moreover, Green Sail will encourage, promote and support various businesses and non-for-profit projects intended to contribute to responsible tourism. We believe that joint actions can have a huge influence on creating routine practices from both locals and travellers, that will lead to sustainable tourism development here in Dalmatia. We are thrilled that the Project has been met with such a positive response and that there are other companies and individuals with whom we share the same perspective.
How has it been received and who are your clients?
Travellers are becoming more and more aware of the effects tourism has on local environments and sustainable tourism has become increasingly popular over the past five years. Our guests have been either European or typically from the UK, we have seen a broad age range on-board and a variety of groups, such as mother/son, solo travellers, couples… Our clients have all responded in a positive light and thoroughly enjoy exploring Croatia, knowing that they are making a positive impact. Some guests are even coming back for their second trip for 2017!
Since launching as your own program, what can we expect from Green Sail in 2017?
The adventure will inspire and educate tourists on the benefits of sustainable tourism, accenting the 2017 Year of Sustainable Tourism Development. The Green Sail initiative will aim to partner with local yacht charter companies to start the conversation about recycling and sustainable practices in Croatia.
We are also launching our “Green Sail Flag Initiative” – most yacht charter customers want to recycle, they just don’t know how or where. We are facilitating making a change to this by asking our partners’ customers to recycle when they travel, by giving them information on where and how and highlighting the ‘feel good factor’ of doing something positive for the environment. The flags are small pennant flags, designed for companies to promote recycling to customers on-board.
Companies or individuals who sign up to this initiative on the website will be sent simple recycling stickers, pennant flags and we will support them to set their environmental policies. Our pennant flags are flown on boats to remind everyone on-board to recycle and take care of our seas. The flags and signage are a conversation starter and build awareness among customers and owners alike – helping to build a foundation for lasting positive change in the industry. And, of course, customers feel good about being a part of the Green Sail movement.
How can we join??
The Green Sail Adventure will run this year on the 27th of May, we usually sail in a flotilla of 3 – 4 yachts and there are still places available! Better yet, it is Sail Croatia’s cheapest cruise of the year (£299 on an 8-berth yacht for 7 days) and is jam packed with additional extras (such Omis River Rafting, Stari Grad Eco Tour, included traditional dinners in Hvar and Makarska and more…)