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A mixed picture of travel salaries over the past year has emerged in a new study.

Customer service agents saw the biggest wage hike of 8.27%, with the average role now coming with a salary of £18,009 compared to £16,633 at the start of last year.

The increase for the position was seen across the country with salaries rising by 8.73% in the south to £18,666 and by 7.27% in the north to £17,271.

But the average salary for a new business travel consultant fell by 1.94% to £21,133, although the figure rose by 3.67% in the north to £19,222 and fell by 2.39% in the south to £23,650.

The roles were reversed for travel manager positions with salaries falling in the north by 4.32% to £32,475 but rising by 0.84% in the south to reach £35,396.

This meant that the average managerial salary in the first three months of the year was £33,890 – a dip of 0.63% compared to the first quarter of 2015.

There were also annual falls for reservations consultants (down 3.57% to £17,567) and business development managers (down 0.33% to £34,500).

However, the research by C&M Travel Recruitment found year-on-year wage rises for account managers (up 6.27% to an average of £29,800), operations executives (up 4.19% to £23,675) and marketing executives (up 3.17% to £26,000).

Travel consultants also saw a small salary increase of 0.16% to take the average wage up to £15,894.

But there was a contrasting picture across the country, with people starting as a travel consultant in the north seeing a 2.83% average annual increase to £15,501, while those in similar roles in the south saw wages dip by 1.46% to £16,552.

C&M director, Barbara Kolosinska, said: “With big year-on-year wage increases, it’s clearly a great time to be looking for a new job in the travel industry as an account manager, customer service agent, marketing executive, travel consultant or operations executive.

“What’s particularly interesting is that salaries are increasing faster in the north than in the south for various roles including travel consultants and business travel consultants, and this could prove to be a real motivation for many people thinking about beginning their job search.”