An innovative certification standard through the effect of which the sustainable management and development of each beach may be achieved in an objective manner
It’s the first time worldwide that a protocol for the sustainable development and management of the Mediterranean beaches is created, aiming to prevent the environmental causes instead of “curing” them, as well as, proposals are made for economic viability & social well-being of the wider region, in order a balance to be achieved in three pillars of sustainable development.
It is a dynamic upgrading system that can incorporate solutions, depending on the needs and characteristics of each beach. Bathers can take part in the evaluation of the certified beaches through the non-stop online questionnaire survey and allows its annual scoring upgrade. It creates an experiential two-way link between the bather and the beach (and the mainland) and a very personalized tourist experience. It gives practical beach management tools to their managers and a healthy competitive environment is created.
It can be adopted and applied by all the Mediterranean coastal municipalities, as well as, by private businesses, such as hotel units and camping, that financially exploit a number of beaches.
The major outcomes of the implementation of the specific protocol are the environmentally - sustainable and qualitative improvement of the awarded beaches, resulting firstly in environmental protection, conservation & increase of the awareness of a very fragile ecosystem, coastline.
Finally, a new protocol for the operation of the beaches due to COVID19 was created, in May 2020.

Resources needed

The cost of the overall procedure of the certification of a beach (including the standard and the premium services) is estimated at about 20000€ per beach with a total length of 500m. The annual cost of the recertification is 1500€ per beach.

Evidence of success

Until today 13 highly tourist beaches in Crete have been certified from Costa Nostrum’s protocol.
Through our non-stop online questionnaire survey, more than 6000 questionnaires have been answered.
The bathers’ satisfaction degree about the most important indicators for a beach are stated below:
Sustainable waste management procedures => 81%,
Cleanness of the beaches => 85%
Cleanness of the sea bottom => 84%
Environmental information => 70+%
Total satisfaction degree => 80+%.

Potential for learning or transfer

Through the dissemination of our work, all the certified beaches’ management bodies, as well as, thousands of bathers at the certified beaches have realized the significance of the coastal ecosystem and the environmental awareness have been raised significantly in both the bathers - visitors of the certified beaches, as well as, to the wider coastal area.
Moreover, we have succeeded to inform thousands of people about the uniqueness of every beach - coastal area, and the importance that it must be given, concerning the management procedures of the beaches, in order the sustainable development and management of both the beaches and the wider coastal area to be succeeded.
Main institution
Costa Nostrum
Κρήτη, Greece (Ελλαδα)
Start Date
August 2015
End Date


Vassilis Zissimopoulos Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Michail Chalkiadakis

Region of Crete


Region of Crete


Region of Crete

Maria Apostolaki

Region of Crete