An online training portal for UK and Irish travel agents has been launched by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism).

L.A. Insider tool will be available on mobile and tablet and aims to help the trade capitalise on growing demand for the destination, which had a record 48.3 million tourists in 2017 – 370,000 of which from the UK.

The ‘City of Angels’ is aiming to reach 50 million tourists by 2020.

“We’re proud to launch such an advanced training programme, one that will help our clients discover L.A. like an insider and sell L.A. like an expert,” said Francine Sheridan, Europe and Middle East regional director at L.A. 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 – L.A. Insider aims to provide the travel trade with a one-stop-shop platform for everything they need.”

L.A. Insider has been developed by TravPRO, which also launched Visit California’s STAR programme.

It will give agents access to L.A. Tourism’s marketing assets, sales collateral such as factsheets, maps, videos, information on Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and virtual reality neighbourhood tours.

Agents who complete the L.A. Insider training will receive a certificate, access to discounts and special offers from L.A. members, the opportunity to participate in fam trips and be entered into a draw to win a trip to an L.A. show.

“We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support we receive from our industry partners,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president and chief executive of L.A. Tourism. “The launch of L.A. 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.”

L.A. Insider is currently available in English but is to be rolled out in Spanish, French, German, Korean and Japanese over the coming months.

An L.A. Insider app is being developed and will be available to download from May 1, 2018.