Travel income bonanza

WITH wages remaining largely stagnant across the Australian workforce, it appears some of those employed in the travel industry are enjoying boom times, according to the travelBulletin/Travel Daily Salary Survey.

WITH wages remaining largely stagnant across the Australian workforce, it appears some of those employed in the travel industry are enjoying boom times, according to the travelBulletin/Travel Daily Salary Survey.

Travel trade workers are enjoying the biggest pay increases in more than five years, with average total incomes climbing by almost $8,000 in 2019, to $78,699, fuelled by significant bonuses.

However, the latest travelBulletin/Travel Daily Salary Survey found the not everyone has seen their pay-packet inflate over the past 12 months, with 53% of respondents reporting they had not had a pay rise, while 47% of participants said they had not received a bonus. The annual salary survey attracted close to 1,300 responses from people working across retail, wholesale, aviation, corporate, cruise, MICE and travel technology companies. There was also a good mix of experience and seniority, as well as those working in metropolitan and regional parts of the country. As in previous years, the findings highlighted differences between men and women, with those working in the aviation the top earners, recording average total incomes of more than $98,000 in 2019.

Across the retail sector 40% of respondents reported they had received a pay rise since the 2018 travelBulletin/Travel Daily Salary Survey.

In the retail sector, Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) were the biggest winners, with 54% saying they received a pay increase, sending average base salaries soaring by more than $14,500, to $58,125, topped up by bonuses in excess of $20,000.

The significant pay rises at FCTG came almost a year after the ABC reported allegations of underpayment at the group and the roll-out of a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement for leisure sales staff.

FCTG agents were also the most likely to receive a bonus (79%) compared to their peers at Helloworld (53%), Express Travel Group (38%) or TravelManagers (52%).

TravelManagers agents reported the second-highest incomes, with base salaries increasing by an average of $8,550 to $66,700, over the 12 months to July.

Base salaries for Helloworld employees remained static for respondents, however, bonuses saw their average total increase climbing to $55,745 from $53,313 in 2018.

Express Travel Group agents reported the lowest average total incomes, at $53,270, with respondents reporting the average base salary fell by almost $5,000, to $45,900.

Agents poor but Happy

Despite travel agents reporting the lowest average earnings of the eight sectors covered by the survey, they were among the most positive about their current job, with 86% saying they were satisfied or extremely satisfied, well above the industry average (63%).

Employees working in the corporate travel sector were the most likely to recommend their workplace, recording a net promoter score (NPS) of 31, just ahead of agents (28.8) and those working in the MICE arena (27.8).

Contrasting with the “poor but happy” sentiment amongst travel agents those working in the high-paying aviation industry were among the least happy, recording an NPS of 3.3, while participants from the wholesale sector recorded the lowest score of -11.

Close to one-in-four workers in the aviation and wholesale sectors reported being dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied with their jobs.

Looking elsewhere

The survey found 13% of respondents are actively looking for a new job, with improved compensation a key motivator for more than half of that group.

Close to half of jobseekers (44%) said they were unhappy with management — up 2% compared to 2017 — with a similar proportion being critical of company culture — a 5% rise on the 2017 results.

Of those looking to leave their current role, 45% plan to remain within the industry, with just over one-in-four saying they intended to leave the travel sector, while the balance were unsure where their next job would be.


A total of 84% of respondents showed an eagerness to develop their skills over the coming 12 months.

Sales and marketing were the top areas respondents wanted to improve with 31% identifying them as skills they needed to boost, followed by IT, presentation and customer service.

While employees across the travel sector were keen to boost their skills the appetite for career development appeared to wane amongst those with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry with 26% saying they had no plans on upskilling in the 2019/20 financial year.




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