City Cruises

Published on Friday, August 14, 2015

Scheme launched to reward responsible whale and dolphin watching

A new initiative has been launched to recognise destinations championing responsible whale and dolphin watching.

Under the new scheme, the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) will award Whale Heritage Site accreditation to areas of the world considered to be centres of excellence.

It is hoped that designation of a destination as a Whale Heritage Site will boost visitor numbers and the incomes of tourism suppliers.

It will also help tourists make the best choices about where to go to watch whales and dolphins in the wild.

The first Whale Heritage Sites Summit will be held this October in the Azores Islands, reflecting the islands' long-standing position as a mecca for whale and dolphin enthusiasts.

The Azores have successfully transitioned from a whale hunting to a whale watching economy and are often listed in the world's top 20 destinations to watch these magnificent creatures in the wild.

Destinations interested in achieving Whale Heritage Site status should register their interest with the WCA and will be invited to join the summit in October.

It is hoped the first Whale Heritage Site status will be awarded in 2016.

Francisco Gil, president of the Azores Promotion Board, said: "This initiative will help to secure their future wellbeing, not only in the Azores, but all over the world, allowing tourists and communities to enjoy and benefit from these incredible creatures for years to come. We are proud to be involved right from the start."

The Whale Heritage Sites Summit to be held on Faial in the Azores on 28-30 October 2015.

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