Visitor count down 70.3% in June

Visitors are returning to Catalina Island’s beaches, as seen in this picture of Avalon from Thursday, July 30. Photo by Ted Apodaca

This is not a surprise, given COVID-19 related restrictions on travel and activities in California generally and in Los Angeles County in particular. 

On the positive side, private boat numbers for this June approached last June’s numbers.

The overall number of visitors as of June were 70.3 percent fewer than last year, according to data recently released by Love Catalina Island/Catalina Island Tourism Authority (formerly known as the Chamber of Commerce).

In all, 32,150 came to Catalina by water or by air in June 2020. In June 2019, the figure was 108,265.

As most islanders know, there were zero cruise ship visits in April, May or June this year. In June 2019 alone, cruise ships brought 22,045 visitors to the Island.

On the other hand, private boats brought 6,648 visitors in June 2020. Private boats brought 6,864 visitors in June 2019. The difference is that private boaters brought 3.1% fewer individuals to the Island this June than last. 

In a July 17 email, Harbor Master JJ Poindexter said that with all the COVID-19 issues, boaters were “just happy to get away from the mainland and visit Avalon. Boat traffic continues to rise over the weekends, but during the weekday things are a bit slower.” 

Information about June’s visitor-driven revenue is not yet available. However, according information on the Tourist Authority website, as of May 2020 the Transient Occupancy (short term rental ) tax was 97.6% less than in May 2019.

Visitor count down 70.3% in June