If you had to choose between soaking up the October sunshine in an iconic Spanish city OR attending the 2018 Travel Convention… which would you choose? Pour qué no ambos?…Why not both?

We were honoured to be the chosen charity for The Travel Convention once again this year and after last year’s huge success, we knew we had to step up to raise more funds than ever to help our ever-growing list of applicants who are in desperate need of help.

With just a few days to squeeze in as much as possible, a big group of the delegates put their foot to the peddle and started the week with a ride around Seville to raise some cash for our brilliant charity. We cycled around in picture-perfect 28-degree weather, taking in the beauty of the southern Spanish city, while snapping a few selfies and keeping our social media followers up-to-date of course!

The cyclists were refreshed along the route – a big thanks for this year’s major sponsor, Avis Budget Group – before being refuelled with a delicious homemade paella.

Along with their 500+ other travel industry colleagues, the riders then headed to Day 1 of the convention. The ABTA LifeLine team had to make sure the next few days were jam-packed with more excitement and more fundraising than ever – even if we were still huffing and puffing from the cycle!

Before we knew it, the annual FABTA LifeLine footy match kicked off. All players were channeling their inner Messi to get one up on their rivals, in the end it came down to White Hart Associates London and First Data going head-to-head. After a tiring 90 minutes and many close calls, neither team could get one up – the final score being 5 all. A special mention goes out to Mark Gill, from the TravelBulletin, who was one of two stand-out players named as men of the match, each taking home a coveted golden boot.

But that wasn’t the end of the action – LifeLine was at all of the lunches, information sessions and lively parties! Our director Trudie, continued to spread the word about the amazing people and families LifeLine have helped this year. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as our Chairman Derek Jones shared an emotional video about the journey of Steve, who, after suffering a stroke, was in desperate need of help. But thanks to the support of LifeLine and the travel industry, Steve and his partner Lin were gifted everyday essentials to help Steve on his road to recovery. 

Derek then wrapped up with the highly anticipated LifeLine charity auction. With a seven-night all-inclusive getaway in the Dominican Republic to the highest bidder up for grabs, along with many more amazing prizes, the crowd was heated, and incredibly generous.

2018 was our year to do better than ever before and wow did we succeed! Muchas gracias to everyone involved in this year’s Travel Convention in the spectacular Seville – a whopping £23,500 was raised for people in our travel community, who have nowhere else to turn. Your generosity is going to make a huge difference to your industry colleagues in need.

We now excitedly look towards the 2019 Travel Convention where we will be travelling to the other side of the globe to the land of sushi sumo wrestling … Tokyo, Japan!