Travel salary index – 2020 overview

The 2020 Travel Salary Index from C&M Travel Recruitment

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  • Travel salaries rise marginally despite pandemic
  • Standard travel wages also rise for sixth consecutive year
  • Pay for executive travel roles falls for first time since 2015
  • New vacancies drop by 74 per cent

Travel salaries defy pandemic

Salaries for new jobs in the travel industry rose by a small 0.32 per cent to stand at an average of £28,287 in 2020 despite the impact of the pandemic, according to the 2020 Travel Salary Index from C&M Travel Recruitment which surveyed all new vacancies registered with the companies during the year.

It means that wages have now increased for new travel jobs for six years in a row following increases of 4.99 per cent in 2019, 3.16 per cent in 2018, 1.58 per cent in 2017, 1.80 per cent in 2016 and by 1.46 per cent in 2015.

Average salaries for standard new jobs in travel (those paying up to £40,000) saw a bigger rise of 3.69 per cent last year to reach £25,863. This was also their sixth consecutive year of increases after wages rose by 0.62 per cent in 2019, 7.45 per cent in 2018, 5.41 per cent in 2017, 5.52 per cent in 2016 and 5.27 per cent in 2015.

However, there was a small fall in salaries for higher-paid senior placements, with average pay for executive travel roles (those paying £40,000 and above) dipping by 2.60 per cent in 2020 to £57,065. This was the first annual fall in executive wages since 2015.

Recruitment levels rocked by Covid

The number of new job vacancies in the travel industry fell by 74.2 per cent overall in 2020 and by 93.4 per cent between April and December 2020 compared to the same months in 2019.

Despite a large number of redundancies in the industry, there was also a significant fall in candidates searching for new travel jobs, with registrations dipping by 41.2 per cent in 2020, and by 53.2 per cent year-on-year since the beginning of the pandemic.

Speaking about the stats, Barbara Kolosinska, Director at C&M Travel Recruitment, said: "None of us have ever experienced a year like 2020, and hopefully none of us ever will again. Recruitment activity plummeted to levels that we couldn’t ever have imagined, and we sadly lost many companies along the way.

"However, we are now gradually seeing travel recruitment levels rise month by month, and 2021 has got off to an extremely encouraging start. January resulted in the highest number of new travel vacancies since the original lockdown in March 2020, and this month is looking set to be even busier.

"We've learned over the past year or so that we need to be very cautious when making any predictions or projections about the state of the travel industry in the coming months, but things certainly do appear to be moving in the right direction and becoming more positive by the month. Let's hope that the vaccine rollout continues to be a success and that this momentum continues into the spring and summer."


All figures are drawn from the salaries of the month’s 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 /