Purpose of the study: This study investigated the effects of employment profile on travel motivation and destination attributes in the South African outbound travel market. Research design and methodology: The study utilised the quantitative research paradigm. A self-administered structured questionnaire was distributed to travellers who have finished high school and have at least travelled once internationally. A response rate of 302 respondents was obtained. A literature review were carried out on the role of motivational forces and destination attributes in attracting tourists to an outbound destination. From the literature review, twenty seven hypotheses were developed to test the relationships between the nine valid and reliable independent motivational forces, destination attributes and the employment profile (independent classification variables). Employment profile was measured in terms of employment status, position in the organisation and income earned. Multiple Analysis of Variance tests determine whether the employment profile of South Africans are influenced by motivational forces and destination choice attributes when choosing an outbound destination choice. Post-hoc Sheffé tests were conducted to determine where the group differences exist in the statistical significant relationships and Cohen D tests to indicate which relationships were of practical significance. Research findings: The MANOVA results reveal six statistical significant relationships between: employment status and physical motivators, stature motivators, events and political issues; position in organisation and events; and income earned and natural attractions. From the post-hoc Sheffé test results, group differences were noted for employment status with regards to events and natural attractions, position in organisation and events, as well as income earned and natural attractions. Taking into consideration these group differences, the Cohen D tests revealed three practical significant results. Research implications: There may be other travel motivators and destination attributes that influence the South African outbound travel market besides those tested. The results of the study was only limited to Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape. Practical implications: The results provide advice to travel agents on marketing destinations and indicate which tourism products will appeal to them based on employment status, position in organisation and income earned. Contribution of paper: This paper contributes towards the body of knowledge with regards to outbound destination choices based on employment profile of the potential tourist, which have wider implications than just in the South African context.
Keywords: Travel motivation; destination attributes; outbound travel