Average travel management salary up 3.4 per cent over 2011

The average salary for travel buyers has increased by 3.4% in the past year, according to new research being released today from the GBTA Foundation’s 2012 Travel Management Compensation and Benefits Survey. Sixty-three per cent of travel buyers are satisfied with their overall compensation and benefits. These findings are based on the responses of 529 corporate travel and meetings managers working in the United States and Canada.

“We are encouraged that salaries and job satisfaction remain high in the travel buyer profession, despite the uncertainty of the global economy. As a travel manager myself, I am convinced that one of the keys to strengthening the economy is through face-to-face interactions among businesspeople – interactions that require a continued commitment to business travel,” said GBTA President and CEO, Jim McMullan.

Key findings:


Compensation levels for travel professionals tend to increase as total domestic travel spend increases. In 2012 average compensation by title is as follows:

Directors: 4.1% increase to $140,650
Managers: 3.3% increase to $92,407
Coordinators: 2.7% increase to $60,157


Travel managers are responsible for global programs, with 63% of respondents indicating their program covers travelers in other countries.

The travel managers’ roles are varied and vital. They are responsible for administering their corporate travel programs (87%); negotiating with travel vendors (87%); and, developing and administering their travel policy (84%).

Travel managers also have responsibilities in other areas such as event planning (43%), evaluating new technology (79%) and developing strategic meetings management programs (38%).

Professional development:

Over 80% of respondents reported their convention attendance and professional associations dues are benefits paid fully by their employers.

Three out of four respondents (75%) said their employers also covered continuing education.

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