June 13, 2024

Business travel salaries rising

Average salaries for new business travel job rose by 7.28% (or £2,201) in 2023 and have risen by 20.07% (or £5,418) since 2019.

This means the average business travel role salary now stands at £32,414.

Meanwhile, placements in the sector dipped by 66% last year from 2022’s record-breaking year, but were down by just 6% from 2019. 

This is according to C&M Travel Recruitment’s Travel Salary Index 2023, which also found that travel salaries across the board rose by 11.6% last year. This means they now stand at £34,156. 

The big increase in wages follows a similar 11.53% jump in 2022, with salaries having risen by an average of 21.14% since the pre-pandemic year of 2019. However, the size of wage increases was not consistent across the industry, with much of the overall rise being caused by an increase for those earning the most.

Wages for executive travel roles (those paying £40,000 and above) rose by 6.50% (or £3,364) to reach an average of £55,085, while those in new travel jobs with salaries of £60,000 or above saw their wages increase by an average of 11.06% (or £8,355) in 2023.

For standard travel roles (those paying below £40,000), pay rose by 4.23% in 2023 to £29,701 and has risen by 19.08% since 2019. But for mid-level travel jobs (those paying between £22,001 and £29,999), wages increased by just 0.92% ast year and by only 4.56% (or £1,155) since 2019 – far below the rate of inflation.

The number of new candidates searching for travel jobs rose by 8% following a 26% increase in 2022. Last year’s total number of new job seekers was the highest since 2018, but still remains 15% behind the record year of 2017.

After record-setting figures in 2022, vacancies dipped by 30% in 2023 from the previous year and placements falling back by 50% from 2022.

Barbara Kolosinska, Managing Director at C&M Travel Recruitment, said: “Salaries in the travel industry have been too low for too long. Those at the very top of our industry are indeed seeing these big increases in pay, but it isn’t filtering down to the lower levels. For many people working in travel – particularly those earning less than £30,000 – salaries barely increased at all last year and have in fact fallen compared to the rate of inflation.

“There’s still a real talent shortage at the moment and we’re simply not going to attract quality candidates into the travel industry if we continue with these very uncompetitive packages. There are some fantastic roles out there with many offering attractive salaries, but if we want to successfully add talented people to our teams, we need to make a real effort in 2024 to collectively increase wages for lower-level travel positions.”