Almost three quarters of UK staff working in travel and tourism feel underpaid.

And as many as 80% want to change jobs, according to a global job satisfaction study conducted by recruitment specialist Progressive Personnel.

It found that almost a third (31.6%) of UK employees were looking to move out of travel and tourism and into a different sector, compared to a global average of 18%.

Taking a global perspective, the poll of clients and candidates found on average three quarters of staff said they felt underpaid, with those in Asia most affected (74.1%) with 83.7% wanting to move jobs but 90.3% wanting to stay in the same industry.

“UK staff seem most dissatisfied overall, with 72% feeling underpaid, 79.4% wanting to change jobs and 31.6% looking to move industry,” the study said.

This may be due to the bias in the UK of lower level employees and lower wages, it suggested.

However, global employers took a more optimistic view, with more than three quarters planning to recruit in the next three months and only 44.8% saying the recession affected their recruitment plans.

Almost 90% of employers feel their staff are compensated fairly and 96.6% say they get value for money.

The research found that there were 98 million jobs in travel and tourism in 2011, a level expected to rise to 120.4 million by 2020.

China is the travel market to watch with 22 million already employed in the travel and hospitality industry.