Travel salary index – 2016 overview

The 2016 Travel Salary Index from C&M Travel Recruitment

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  • Standard travel salaries experience biggest annual increase in four years
  • South sees greater wage growth than north
  • Executive travel salaries also rise
  • Placements increase, but candidate and vacancy numbers dip

Strong year for standard travel salaries

The salary for a new standard travel job (those paying up to £40,000) increased by a very healthy 5.52 per cent last year to stand at £21,887, according to the 2016 Travel Salary Index from C&M Travel Recruitment, which looked at all new roles registered at the companies during the year.

This was the biggest annual jump in four years and follows 2015’s rise of 5.27 per cent, meaning wages for the typical new job in travel have grown by £2,185 in the past two years.

Overall, average travel salaries reached £25,626 in 2016 which was up 1.80 per cent from the previous year and is the biggest annual increase since 2012 following growth of 1.46 per cent in 2015, a fall of 0.08 per cent in 2014 and a 1.66 per cent rise in 2013.

There was also a 1.53 per cent increase in executive travel salaries (those paying above £40,000) with the average new senior position now paying £54,110, however this remains below the survey’s peak figure of £58,418 in 2014.

South beats north…again

For the second year in a row, travel salaries in the south of the UK rose at a far faster pace than in the north with the wage gap growing to nearly £5,500. Pay rose by 3.58 per cent in the south in 2016 to reach an average of £27,499, while wages grew by 0.82 per cent in the north for an average of £22,079. This follows growth in 2015 of 3.40 per cent and 1.14 per cent, respectively.

Speaking about the figures, Barbara Kolosinska, Director at C&M Travel Recruitment, said: “With wages for the typical travel job increasing by 5.52 per cent, I think most people would agree that 2016 was a strong year for salaries. It was certainly an eventful 12 months, but it’s fantastic to see that pay increased for standard roles and executive positions both in the north and the south. That’s a clear sign that things are going in the right direction.

“We’ve had an extremely busy start to 2017, and we remain cautiously optimistic that it will be another positive year for the industry. In terms of wage growth, business travel and luxury travel jobs are likely to see the biggest rises, with quality marketing and sales candidates also set to be very much in demand.”

Placements rise but candidates fall

The number of people placed in travel jobs rose by 6 per cent in 2016 although there were

single digit annual falls for both the number of new candidates and vacancies.

“2016 was a busy year for the travel recruitment industry with many companies looking to expand their team, but there is still a lack of quality candidates in the market,” said Ms Kolosinska. “However, this means that the right applicant can take advantage of these opportunities - and secure a very attractive salary package too!”


All figures are drawn from the salaries of the new vacancies advertised with C&M Travel Recruitment.

C&M Travel Recruitment was established in 1998 and is the largest and most successful specialist travel recruitment company in the UK.

For further information please contact: Owen Mckeon (Content Manager - 0161 238 4497 / or Barbara Kolosinska (Director - 07507 602 069 /