September continued to show significant signs of recovery from COVID-19 related impacts.
September visitation increased year-over-year, resulting in an overall increase by 19% or 13,501 visitors over the same month last year.
Previous September tracking (below) offers a comparison without COVID-19 impacts. September 2021’s total of 84,579 fell short of September 2019’s total arrivals of 98,425.
September’s total in-bound passenger count was below the three, five and ten-year averages. September 2021 trailed the same month in 2019 by 13,846 visitors.
Arrivals by Sea
Passengers arriving by sea, including private boaters, totaled 80,804 for the month of September, up by 13,159 from last year.
- September Cross Channel Passenger counts were up year-over-year by 21.4% @ 71,399 vs. 58,813 last year
- 1995 had the highest volume for the month @ 78,320 passengers
- 2008 had the lowest volume for the month @ 44,553
- 2020 had 58,813 Cross Channel Passengers
- 2019 had 65,871 Cross Channel Passengers or 5,528 more passengers than 2021
- September Cross Channel Passenger counts were above the three-year average of 65,361 by 9.2%
- September Cross Channel Passenger counts were above the five-year average of 67,213 by 6.2%
- September Cross Channel Passenger counts were above the ten-year average of 65,278 by 9.4%
- Cross Channel Passengers made up 84.42% of total monthly arrivals
- Cruise passenger counts were 1,257
- 2015 had the highest Cruise Passenger volume for the month @ 28,317
- 2020 had the lowest Cruise Passenger volume for the month @ 0. Previous pre-COVID-19 low was 1994 @ 9,607
- 2019 had 20,704 Cruise Passengers
- September Cruise Passenger counts were below the three-year average of 7,320 (includes 2020 with 0 passengers) by 82.8%
- September Cruise Passenger counts were below the five-year average of 12,402 (includes 2020 with 0 passengers) by 89.9%
- September Cruise passenger counts were below the ten-year average of 16,356 (includes 2020 with 0 passengers) by 92.3%
- Cruise Passengers made up 1.49% of total monthly arrivals
- The number of Cruise Ships calling on Avalon was 1
- 2019 had the largest number of ships @ 11
- A typical September has averaged 9 ships visiting
- Private Boater Passenger counts were down slightly year-over-year @ 8,148 vs. 8,832 in 2020
- 2011 had the highest passenger volume for the month @ 10,494
- 2014 had the lowest passenger volume month @ 6,812
- September Private Boater Passenger counts were below the three-year average of 8,335 by 2.2%
- September Private Boater Passenger counts were below the five-year average of 8,266 by 1.4%
- September Private Boater Passenger counts were above the ten-year average of 7,744 by 5.2%
- September’s number of Vessels Anchored was up slightly @ 114 vs.108 last year
- 2018 had the highest number of Vessels Anchored @ 197
- 2012 had the lowest number of Vessels Anchored @ 71
- September 2021 was below the average number of Vessels Anchored for three, five and ten-year averages
- September’s number of Vessels on Moorings was down 7.7% @ 2,037 vs. 2,237 last year
- 2020 had the highest number of Vessels on Moorings @ 2,208
- 2014 had the lowest number of Vessels on Moorings @ 1,703
- Private Boaters Made up 9.63% of total monthly arrivals
Arrivals by Air
Combined in-bound air passenger counts for September totaled 3,896, up from 3,529 in 2020.
- Private Aircraft Passengers (Airport in the Sky) was down slightly @ 1,872 from 1,887 last year
- 2012 had the highest volume of Private Aircraft Passengers for the month @ 2,612
- 2017 had the lowest volume of Private Aircraft Passengers for the month @1,302
- September counts Private Aircraft Passengers was above the three-year average of 1,825 by 2.6%
- September counts for Private Aircraft Passengers was above the five-year average of 1,635 by 14.5%
- September counts for Private Aircraft Passengers was below the ten-year average of 1,907 by 1.9%
- September Private Aircraft Passengers made up 2.21% of total monthly arrivals
- Helicopter Passenger counts were up 23.1% year-over-year @ 1,903 vs. 1,546
- 2017 had the highest volume for the month @ 2,245
- 2013 had the lowest volume for the month @ 1,310
- September counts for Helicopter Passengers was above the three-year average of 1,853 by 2.7%
- September counts for Helicopter Passengers was below the five-year average of 1,987 by 4.2%
- September counts for Helicopter Passengers was above the ten-year average of 1,888 by 0.8%
- September counts for Helicopter Passengers made up 2.25% of total monthly arrivals
Total year-to-date arrivals are up from last year by 63.1%
- Total Arrivals year-to-date was up from last year by 63.1% @ 630,148 vs. 386,327 or a difference of 243,821 visitors
- Total Arrivals year-to-date exceeded the three-year average of 610,942 by 3.1%
- Total Arrivals year-to-date were below the five and ten-year averages of 709,147 and 739,705 respectively
- All arrival sectors are up year-to-date with the exception of Cruise
Pre-Covid-19 comparison data is illustrated below.
- Due to COVID-19 impacts, 2020 had the lowest year-to-date total visitation @ 386,327
- 2017 had the highest total visitation year-to-date @ 860,424
- Compared to 2017, 2021 year-to-date total arrivals are down by 230,276
- 2019 had 816,350 visitors year-to-date
- Compared to 2019, 2021 year-to-date total arrivals are down by 186,202 people
- Cross Channel Passengers are nearly on par with 2019
- Cruise and Helicopter arrivals are down 2021 year-to-date compared to 2019 while Private Boat and Private Aircraft arrivals are up
To view historical data for total arrivals by sector, year and month in a spreadsheet form click here. PDF File.
September Visitor Services varied up and down by measure year-over-year.
Catalina Island Visitor Center
- Number of Phone Calls for the month was up year-over-year by 23.3% @ 682 vs. 553
- 2010 had the highest volume for the month @ 1,854 calls
- 2015 had the lowest volume for the month @ 545 calls
- September call counts were below the three-year average of 748 by 8.8%
- Note that a change in New Year’s Eve Gala reservations (launched each year in August) from phone to online has resulted in significant reduction in 2021 phone calls. No New Year’s Gala tickets were sold in 2020
- Number of Walk-Ins for the month was up year-over-year @ 2,114 vs. 1,003
- 2018 had the highest volume of Walk-ins for the month @ 5,139 guests
- 2020 had the lowest volume of Walk-ins for the month @ 1,003 guests
- September Walk-In counts were above the three-year average of 2,074 by 1.9%
- Note Walk-In traffic is greatly impacted by Cruise visits.
- September LoveCatalina.com website users were up year-over-year by 4.3% @ 86,752 vs. 75,997 in 2020
- Book Direct lodging searches were down year-over-year by 14.8% @14,974 vs. 17,568 in 2020
- Note changes to Book Direct on member links has resulted in shifting more traffic to referrals vs. searches
- Book Direct referrals were up by 4.3% @ 16,003 vs.15,344 in 2020
- Printed Visitor Guide orders @ LoveCatalina.com @ 43 down from 553 or 92.2% from last year
- Note no 2021 Guide was printed
- Note above numbers do not include rack and visitor center distributions
- Online Guide downloads were up by 173.9% @ 452 vs.165 in 2020
- E-blast new subscribers in September were up year-over-year @ 129 vs.106 in 2020
Social Media cumulative totals by platform as of September below.
Data for September highs, lows and precipitation going back to 2012 is displayed below. Multi-year rain days data is also displayed by year and month. Measures are taken at Avalon Harbor.
Third Night Complimentary
The longer you stay, the more memories you make. Book two nights and receive your third night complimentary.
Catalina Flyer from Newport
$10 Off Catalina Island Ferry
Hop onboard the Catalina Flyer with daily round trip service to Catalina Island from Newport Beach.