The number of people starting new jobs in the travel industry rose to its highest point of the year last month but average pay fell to its lowest level in more than two years.

While London wages reached the highest since May, pay in the north fell to two-year low in October, latest monthly data from C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment reveals.

Average travel salaries fell by almost 2% year-on-year to £24,337 – its lowest level since August 2014 – while standard pay of £21,250 was down by 2.61%. This was the lowest figure since September last year, although above the 2015 monthly average.

Wages in the north dropped to £20,487 – the lowest since March 2014. However, this was mainly due to an unusually high proportion of lower paying travel consultant roles being filled in the month, according to the travel recruitment specialist.

C&M director Barbara Kolosinska said: “On first glance, October’s overall fall in wages is disappointing, but this was mainly due to an unusually high number of lower paid travel consultant roles being placed in the month and skewing the overall average, rather than a general decrease in wages across all positions.

“In fact, in London, where there was a more typical balance of lower and higher paying roles in October, salaries increased to their highest point since May.

“The next couple of months will give us a better indication of whether wages are falling or if October was just a one-off, but this has been a strong year for wages and it still looks very likely that the 2016 average salary will beat last year’s figure.”

Alongside an increase in placements, the month also saw more candidates begin their travel job search than at any point since May, while the number of new travel roles being made available was the third highest of the year.

Kolosinska said: “More candidates found new travel jobs last month than at any point this year, which is a terrific sign of the health of the travel industry at the moment.

“With high numbers of both new candidates and new travel roles being created, activity levels in the travel recruitment market remain very strong and it looks like the industry is set for a busy end to the year.”