Island ramps up tourism effort

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With visitor numbers showing strong year-over-year growth, the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau, in coordination with the city of Avalon, are working hard to continually improve the tourism effort.  “The trend is exciting,” said Chamber President and CEO Jim Luttjohann in a brief interview this week.

With visitor numbers showing strong year-over-year growth, the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau, in coordination with the city of Avalon, are working hard to continually improve the tourism effort.  “The trend is exciting,” said Chamber President and CEO Jim Luttjohann in a brief interview this week.

Already, tourism related revenue generates $11.4 million annually for the city of Avalon, yet officials are seeking to improve their outlook by hosting major tourism operators. Accordingly, the Chamber hosted two of the state’s largest tourism promoters on the Island last week. VisitCalifornia, one of the state’s largest and oldest promotion agencies, accepted an invitation by the Chamber to hold its fall board meeting on Island.

The session was held at the Descanso Beach Club Oct. 25. In addition to its local tourism infrastructure, VisitCalifornia operates 17 global offices and manages a promotional budget of more than $120 million. Catalina also hosted the National Tour Association last week. They are a group of more than 1,100 tour operators from around the country. The NTA is the leading business association for professionals serving customers traveling to, from and within North America.

The professionals were shown the best of the Island and reportedly received from host Gail Fornasiere, “one of the best museum tours the group has ever experienced,” the Chamber said in a statement.

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