Travel recruitment specialist C&M Recruitment has reported more travel vacancies and candidate registrations in the first six months of 2017 than any year since 2011.

The bumper start to 2017 based on year-on-year analysis of the first six months revealed a 32% increase in candidate numbers this year and a 27% increase in the number of new roles advertised on 2016.

Job numbers advertised this year in the first six months were up 7% on 2015, 16% on 2014, 22% on 2013 and 19% on 2012. For candidates the equivalent figures were 22%, 33%, 4% and 19%.

Both candidate and vacancy numbers have increased year-on-year in every month of 2017 so far.

However, the H1 Travel Salary Index saw average salaries dip 1.9%, while standard travel wages increased 2.53%. Salaries were seen to have risen marginally in north but fell in south.

Barbara Kolosinska, director at C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment said: “In terms of activity, the first half of 2017 was truly historic – we’ve never seen figures like this before.

“Both the number of travel vacancies and candidates searching for new roles are way up from the first six months of last year, so we’ve been busier than ever.

“Despite the many uncertainties that currently hang over us in the UK, it is fantastic to see that many travel companies are feeling confident enough to expand and create brand new roles – and this is encouraging lots of great candidates to explore the different opportunities that are now available to them.”

The 1.9% dip in salaries for new jobs saw the average wage fall by £495 to £25,513 in the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

Salaries for new standard travel jobs – roles paying up to £40,000 – rose annually by £570 to £23,082.

The fall in overall pay was mainly due to an increase in lower salaried positions, while there was a mixed picture around the country with northern wages rising marginally by 0.12% to hit £21,974, while salaries for jobs in the south dipped to £27,366 – a fall of 2.01%.

Kolosinska added: “There’s no consistent trend for travel salaries in 2017 so far; they’ve risen in the north, but fallen in the south, and have increased for junior and mid-range roles, but dipped for executive positions. It’s been a mixed bag.

“What is consistent is that companies have been creating far more new travel jobs than they did last year and recruitment activity is through the roof. Fingers crossed for a similar second half of the year.”