Average pay for new entrants to the travel industry fell last month from a record high in April.

And the number of available jobs outstripped the number of people seeking employment in what has been a sluggish year for the sector.

Travel salaries fell across the country in May although there were marked differences across the regions, with the south of the UK seeing a marginal 0.46% monthly dip and the north suffering a steeper 5.56% decline.

Standard travel salaries paying below £40,000 fell back by 5.65% to £24,296 in May over the previous month. However, this was 1.01% above May last year and up by 7.08% on the rolling 12-month average.

While pay for new travel jobs dropped by 1.5% or £426 to £27,956, this was still the third highest level since 2012, according to data from C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment.

The 12-month rolling average increased by 5.78%, helped by a strong monthly increase in salaries for executive travel jobs paying £40,000 or more.

The number of new vacancies rebounded by 19% in May following falls the previous month but still remained down year-on-year.

A 10% rise in new candidates registering their interest in travel jobs was recorded by the recruitment specialist.

Vacancies rose to their highest level since January, while candidate volumes stood at their highest point since February.

C&M director Barbara Kolosinska said: “The travel recruitment market remains quiet compared to previous years, but we were very pleased to see activity rebound last month both in terms of new candidates and new job vacancies.

“However, these were small improvements and we’re very keen to see further increases before the traditional late summer slowdown kicks in.

“Encouragingly, salaries remain very strong and have increased by nearly six per cent across the past year, so for those people who are considering a career move, there are clearly some very attractive travel roles available at the moment.”