by Matt Alderton | November 29, 2012
In a down economy, pay raises are few and far between. And yet, the average salary for travel buyers continues to rise, according to the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

According to the GBTA Foundation's "2012 Travel Management Compensation and Benefits Survey," travel buyers' average salary has increased by 3.4 percent in the past year. What's more, 63 percent of travel buyers say they're satisfied with their overall compensation and benefits.

"We are encouraged that salaries and job satisfaction remain high in the travel buyer profession, despite the uncertainty of the global economy," said GBTA President and CEO Jim McMullan. "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."

The average annual salary for travel directors is now $140,650, up 4.1 percent from last year, according to the GBTA Foundation. The salaries for travel managers and travel coordinators, meanwhile, are $92,407 and $60,157, up 3.3 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

The GBTA Foundation also surveyed travel buyers about their job duties and found that 63 percent are responsible for global travel programs. Meanwhile, a majority are responsible for administering their corporate travel programs (87 percent), negotiating with travel vendors (87 percent), and developing and administering their travel policy (84 percent).

Many also have responsibility for meetings and events: 43 percent of travel buyers have event planning responsibilities and 38 percent are charged with developing strategic meetings management programs (SMMPs).

Final findings: Over 80 percent of travel buyers say their convention attendance and professional association dues are paid fully by their employers, and 75 percent that their company also pays for their continuing education.

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