Average travel industry pay fell back by almost 4% last month despite rising interest in jobs in the sector, latest data reveals.

The average salary for a new job in travel fell in February to £24,760 from the previous month.

The figure was also down by 3.39% from the same month last year, with the decrease largely a result of a lack of higher paid executive travel placements, according to a new travel salary index compiled by C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment.

Salaries for standard travel jobs paying up to £40,000 saw a smaller monthly dip of 0.60% to an average of £22,760, although this was still up by 4.36% over last February.

However, candidate registrations rose by 11% from January and by 47% compared to February 2016.

The very strong figures mean that 2017 has started at a record pace with the volume of new candidate registrations in January and February outnumbering every year at the same point since at least 2011, according to C&M.

The amount of newly created vacancies also remained positive with the second highest number of new jobs since April 2015, trailing only an all-time high figure recorded last month.

C&M director, Barbara Kolosinska, said: “Following on from January’s all-time high number of new travel jobs, February saw the most candidate registrations since autumn 2015 – and it was achieved in a 28 day month.

“These two stats confirm what we have already known for a few weeks – it has undoubtedly been an exceptionally busy start to the year for travel recruitment.

“The volume of new candidates entering the market means that competition among job seekers is increasing each day, but with hundreds of new roles already being created in 2017, there is now more choice than at any point in recent memory.”