Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) this week launched LA Insider, a new online training tool for travel trade professionals. The mobile- and tablet-friendly program is the first of its kind for LA Tourism. It has been designed to help Australian travel trade better sell the city and stay up-to-date with its latest offerings.
Demand for a bespoke online portal of information and selling tools for the travel trade is strong and growing, as global demand to visit Los Angeles continues its rapid upward trajectory. A record 48.3 million tourists visited LA in 2017 (411,000 visitors from Australia), a figure that is expected to reach 50 million by 2020.
“We’re proud to launch such an advanced training program, one that will help our clients discover LA like an insider and sell LA like an expert,” said Craig Gibbons, regional director – Australia & New Zealand, LA Tourism. “Los Angeles’ welcoming spirit, celebration of diversity and perfect weather are bringing visitors in greater numbers. New restaurants, attractions and hotels are opening up quickly to meet demand and it can be difficult to stay on top of all the new developments – LA Insider aims to provide the travel trade with a one-stop-shop platform for everything they need.”
LA Insider, developed by TravPRO, which also launched Visit California’s STAR program, will provide easy access to LA Tourism’s marketing assets, sales collateral such as fact sheets, maps, videos and even neighbourhood tours in virtual reality. The program also provides information on the gateway to North America, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and updates on the airport’s multi-billion-dollar modernisation program with multimedia assets added as they become available.
Participants who complete the LA Insider training will receive a certificate, access to discounts and specials from LA members, the opportunity to participate in FAMs and be entered to win a trip to one of LA’s award shows.
The first 20 agents (in Australia only) who complete the program by 7 May will also receive season passes to Palace Cinemas that can be used to attend the American Essentials Film Festival in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra sponsored by Discover Los Angeles. Additionally, the first 100 travel agents from across both Australia and New Zealand who complete the LA Insider program by 31 May will receive a $25 gift card from Westfield or EFTPOS.
“We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support we receive from our industry partners,” said Ernest Wooden Jr, president and CEO of LA Tourism. “The launch of LA Insider speaks to our commitment to travel trade professionals by providing them with helpful tools they can use on a daily basis as well as recognition for their expertise.”
LA Insider will be rolled out in Spanish, French, German, Korean and Japanese over the coming months with more languages to follow. The market-specific modules will feature videos of expats describing what it is they love about Los Angeles and tips to make the most of a visit. LA Tourism successfully launched a China-specific online training program, LA Angels Academy, in October 2015, with over 5,600 registered users and 1.45 million page views.