The P&MM Metric Report has 41% of staff picking Italy as their first choice destination, with 25% preferring Spain or Portugal (inc Balearic, Canary Islands & Madeira).
Croatia, Greece or Turkey were chosen by 12%, then France/Monaco selected by 10%. Morocco and Scandinavia were each chosen by 6% of respondents.
In the long haul research, North America was preferred by 37% of respondents, ahead of Australia/ New Zealand, the first choice of 27%.
Thailand and Malaysia gaines 16% followed by South Africa/ Botswana/ Zambia (10%), then China/Hong Kong (8%). South America which was chosen by 2%.
Nigel Cooper, managing director of P&MM Events & Communications, said: "The outstanding popularity of Italy for short haul trips, well ahead of Spain and Portugal - two highly popular holiday destinations for Britons - is not what most people would have predicted, so too that only 10% selected France or Monaco as first choice.
"As always, budgets are critical and Italy is not the lowest cost destination in Europe, but there is value to be had. So it is up to conference, event and incentive organisers to challenge their agencies to deliver what participants want within their budget."