‘Shop Catalina Night’ set for Saturday, Dec. 2

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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.

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.

According to the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau, Santa will arrive on the Island Saturday, Dec. 2 to usher in the holiday spirit and shopping season.

The arrival will begin the “Shop Catalina Night” to be held from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. and will include an enchanted night of shopping, dining and entertainment as island officials open the Catalina Holiday promotion. Santa Claus is scheduled to step onto the Wrigley stage at 5 p.m.

Interested participants can then get a list of all of the Catalina Island merchants, restaurants and business that are offering special discounts throughout the island.

Once shoppers get the Catalina Island list, they can then visit any of the participating establishments to get a “Discount Card” that will qualify them for savings from Dec. 2 -Dec. 24.

When residents actually shop or utilize the services of participating merchants, they will get a stamped ‘Treasure Card’ that will qualify them for door prizes and other bonuses, according to information released by the CICVB.

More information about the program can be obtained by emailing eduncan@catalinachamber.com.

The Chamber and city officials say they are working on other promotions for incoming guests during the Catalina Island Holiday celebration.

On a quizzical note, the Chamber-released the data on their new automated “Ask Lina” module on their website that answers the most “frequently asked questions.”

The Chamber of Commerce said the automated answering serving “spent more than 50 hours providing answers” to the public since it was launched in October.

What was the most frequently asked question to Lina? According to the Chamber, it was “do I need a passport” to visit Catalina Island.

The answer, of course, is no.

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