Catalina Island
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January 22, 2018 - 4:51am

Articles by David N. Young

Updates from the Catalina Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau indicate they will be “ringing in the New Year” with new marketing programs designed to build on recent successes.

According to the Chamber, this year’s goal is to “drive overnight visitation to Catalina Island midweek and weekends during time periods having ample lodging availability.”

In short, the Chamber says their marketing campaign will drive consumer visitation during peak periods, which are generally spring and fall.

While gowns and black ties are common in Hollywood for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, Catalina Island will have its own red carpet glam, paparazzi, and a special connection to the Academy Awards. The Catalina Island Medical Center, supported by the city, Chamber and others within the community, have planned “An Evening with Oscar” to coincide with the Academy Award telecast.

Participants will be treated to their own Catalina Island glamour shots, red carpet interviews and other aspects of what is expected to be a black tie affair.

Year-end statistics issued by the city of Avalon indicate that a broadly focused marketing plan is working and the data suggests even greater results are possible with some tweaking.

So says Jim Luttjohann, president and CEO of the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.

“The numbers indicate we have very much succeeded in creating awareness and generating business,” he said.

With thanksgiving upon us, island tourism and planning officials are quickly refocusing the tourism effort to shopping and other promotional items to get tourists to enjoy a Catalina Christmas.

Meanwhile, tourism stats released for October show Catalina Island visitor counts continue to grow, as cruise and cross channel crossings were up year over year nearly 4 percent, cruise ship passenger counts were up 7.6 percent and general population on Avalon Harbor boats were up 8 percent.

Statistics released this week by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau and the city of Avalon indicate visitor counts and revenue through June of 2017 are up significantly over last year, even after a first quarter dip due to weather issues.

The data indicates tax collections for the city of Avalon were generally up across the board while visitor counts are up as well.

Catalina Island officials are exploring a variety of avenues to leverage its performance and visual arts assets to create an enhanced entertainment destination.

Catalina Island celebrated its 7th Annual Film Festival recently and its much-celebrated JazzTrax festival that starts this weekend.

Now, the Island is seriously considering the development of more entertainment options to add to its existing revenue base, Chamber President Jim Luttjohann confirmed this week.