Average travel industry pay fell back by almost 3% in the final month of 2016 to £21,190.

The December figure represented a drop of 4.4% over the same month a year earlier, latest analysis of industry salaries shows.

This came despite demand for jobs in travel jumping by 49% year-on-year.

Much of the drop in pay was attributed to a slowdown in higher salaried executive placements made in the run up to Christmas.

Salaries for standard travel jobs rose by just 0.58% year-on-year in December, but still fell by 1.61% against the previous month to stand at £22,602.

The north of the country provided a glimmer of hope with those seeking new jobs in travel seeing average average wage increases of 2.23% in the month to reach £23,250 – the highest total since May 2014, according to the monthly travel salary index compiled by C&M Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment.

Director Barbara Kolosinska said: “For the second month in a row, wages for new travel jobs in the north of the country have accelerated at a far faster rate than those in the south.

“In fact, we saw salaries increase for almost all roles in the north of the UK during December, including fares and ticketing consultants, senior business travel consultants, web support managers and product development executives.”

She added: “As these figures show, December was a busier month than usual for registrations, and things have certainly got busier again now that we are well into January.

“We now have lots of great new candidates actively looking for a new role in travel, and the best are likely to be snapped up soon.”