Adelaide will host Australia’s largest land defence exhibition, Land Forces which is expected to inject more than $16 million into the state’s economy.
Global delegates will converge on Adelaide in September 2016 for the biennial event, which will be conducted in conjunction with the Australian Army’s international Chief of Army Exercise and showcases international land defence services, technology and equipment.
Minister for Tourism Leon Bignell said securing Land Forces 2016 was a major coup for the state’s visitor economy and the redeveloped Adelaide Convention Centre.
“Land Forces 2016 will attract more than 1100 delegates and 400 exhibitors, provide 5000 bed nights for local hotels and create more than 150 jobs,” Mr Bignell said.
“We know how important conferences are to the state’s economy and in this year’s State Budget, we announced $15 million for the State Government’s Bid Fund, with $5 million allocated to secure conventions.
“On average business visitors spend $632 a day, three times more than the average visitor and 39 per cent of convention delegates return to the host destination for a holiday with their family.
“Investing in tourism generates jobs and revenue for South Australia, especially for our regions and securing major international exhibitions such as Land Forces will return strong dividends to the visitor economy,” Mr Bignell said.
The Adelaide Convention Bureau, in partnership with the South Australian Tourism Commission, Defence SA and the Adelaide Convention Centre, led the state’s bid to get Land Forces, beating strong competition from across the nation.
Minister for Defence Industries Martin Hamilton-Smith said Land Forces was one of four key defence events in Australia.
“South Australia has secured another marquee event which will reinforce our mantle as the nation’s Defence State. Land Forces will bring together key decision-makers from the military, government, research and development community and industry,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“This is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the state’s capabilities in land defence, particularly in armoured fighting vehicle production and sustainment, and to link delegates with local companies.
“Land Forces will focus on the Indo-Pacific and Asian regions, which aligns with the State Government’s strategy to seek closer economic ties with these nations.
“The State Government’s recent trade mission to India, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand highlighted the potential for local companies to supply defence and advanced manufacturing services to these countries. Land Forces is an opportunity to build on these relationships.”
“The defence sector is a core pillar of our state economy, creating jobs, driving investment and innovation – it currently employs 28,500 South Australians directly or indirectly, and contributes about $2 billion a year to the economy,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.