Travel sector salaries slump as number of agencies falls

Salaries in the travel sector are falling as many travel agencies fail to give staff an annual wage rise and some offer below-inflation pay increases.

Annual research by recruitment agency AA Appointments found that salaries in some parts of the country were as low as £8,500 a year.

Managing director John Tolmie said: “Retail salaries are stagnating and in some cases going backwards. It’s unsurprising as many agencies are closing down, creating an employer-driven market.”

A separate survey of 178 travel agencies, by researcher Amadeus UK, revealed that 30% did not pay yearly increases, while of those that did, 27% offered a below-inflation rise – amounting to a pay cut.

Travel industry negotiator at the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association union, Rick Justham, described the findings as scandalous.

“It’s outrageous that staff do not get an annual pay rise,” he said. “In real terms, any increase under inflation is a pay decrease and a way for employers to cut costs.”

The Amadeus poll also found that more than 25% of agents who expected to receive an annual pay increase had not had one for more than 12 months.

Some 66% of respondents cited low pay as the main reason they would consider leaving the sector.

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