To paraphrase from the movie Shrek: Ogres are like onions — you have to peel away their layers to see what lies beneath. The same can be said of incentive qualifiers. How do you know what really motivates them unless you dig deep? And how do you choose a destination that will strongly appeal to many, if not all, to satisfy your sales goals?

That's what Tourism Australia wanted to find out. Last year, TA commissioned an online survey of 537 U.S. residents who were eligible for an incentive award or who had recently received one. The results are a revealing look at where qualifiers want to go. The answers were cross-referenced by industry sector.

Cash and international travel are the most motivating incentives for employees in the medical and pharmaceutical business sectors, which most often use incentive travel as a motivator.

After an international trip, an international cruise is the most popular selection. International trips appeal most to younger employees and those in the pharmaceutical, IT, and financial/insurance sectors. Participants were asked what would be most motivating as an incentive destination. While Australia is the most motivating destination for most respondents, for pharma, Italy was the most motivating destination. Africa also interests the medical sector. Employees in the pharma sector also have a narrower repertoire of destinations than those in other sectors, and medical and pharmaceutical employees show a tendency toward more “exotic” destinations.

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