South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas has praised the resilience of the hotel industry during the pandemic and highlighted his home state as a valuable place for investment during his opening speech at the Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) 2022.  

“I can’t tell you how excited we are, not just to have this conference here in Adelaide again for the second year row, but we’re very excited about the prospect of continuing to work with you to maintain this conference here in the state of South Australia and the city of Adelaide, hopefully, for the long term, and we look forward to active negotiations and engagement with you to achieve our ambition in that regard,” the Premier said.

Speaking to over 800 attendees on Day 1 of AHICE 2022, Malinauskas recognised the “extraordinary sacrifice” that those in the industry have made during the pandemic “in the name of other people’s safety”.  

“Business owners, good working people giving up their incomes, their livelihoods, in the name of other people’s safety. That’s a profound sacrifice to make,” he said.

The Premier said he is excited to see continued growth in hotel accommodation in South Australia and Adelaide – which was recently named the world’ third most liveable city. 

“We are excited about the prospect of continuing to see the growth in hotel accommodation – not just here in the city but also throughout our regions in South Australia,” he said.

“My government is committed to seeing that growth being very much a partnership between private capital but also a government that is keen to be an enabler in every sense to accelerate that investment.”

The Premier spoke about growing employment in the state to allow citizens to enjoy “the dignity that work provides”.

“It’s a labour-intensive industry and that means a lot of dignity being provided to so many people that work in the hospitality sector,” he said.

“That’s why we as a government want to continue to grow employment in our state. We want this industry to thrive here in our state; I want more South Australians experiencing and enjoy all the deputy that work provides.”

With the industry working hard to achieve sustainability targets alongside managing the challenges of a high-wage economy, the Premier highlighted South Australia as a great place for running a business for the long term.  

“All of those challenges are being met here in South Australia ahead of most other places in the world – whether it be the growth of the defense and cyber industries in our state which is happening at pace, whether it be the home to Australian space agency, whether it be massive investments in the education sector to put us ahead of the curve, whether it be our pursuit of the hydrogen industry and having more solar and wind power and manufacturing in our state than any other jurisdiction in the country – we are ahead of the curve,” he said.

“It’s not just about being a place where people want to work – it’s a place where people are going to be working with good secure jobs into the long term.”

The Premier also highlighted all that South Australia has to offer as a tourism destination including food, music and motorsport festivals such as WOMAD and Adelaide 500.

“Indeed, there is a zeal to ensure that all the policy settings that can underpin growth in your industry are ripe. So that growth that we’ve already seen is something that we want to continue not just for two years but for decades to come,” he said.