A charity appeal launched last week by Travel Weekly and Abta LifeLine to support those adversely affected by the Covid-19 crisis has raised more than £11,000 thanks to the generosity of industry donors.

The TravelCares appeal was unveiled last week as Abta LifeLine prepares to deal with an influx of requests for help and assistance from those within the industry.

Within five days of the launch, the appeal had raised more than £11,400, largely thanks to two separate donations of £5,000 from industry veterans, in addition to significant donations including £500 from the Travel Weekly team and £200 from industry community Travel Gossip.

The TravelCares appeal will continue to run in the weeks and months ahead, and organisers hope that more small donations will help boost the fundraising alongside more large additions from those who are able.

The two individuals who each donated £5,000, identified only as Nick and Justin, said they gave the money having experienced long careers in the industry.

Nick said: “I spent 38 years in the travel industry. Heart-breaking to see the Covid-19 catastrophic effects on overseas travel. TravelCares is a great initiative and delighted to help.”

Meanwhile, Justin said: “I have been fortunate to have had a long and amazing career in the travel industry. Never in that time did I imagine the situation we face today. Lifeline/TravelCares is needed more now than ever.”

Lucy Huxley, editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly, said: “We are so grateful to Nick and Justin for getting our appeal off to such a strong start, alongside all those who have given so far. The work that Abta LifeLine does will become even more essential in the coming months, so please do give whatever you are able to help us support their work.”

Trudie Clements, director of Abta LifeLine, added: “I’m delighted our TravelCares appeal has got off to such a great start. We recognise it’s a difficult time for many, but it would be fantastic if those that can, get behind our appeal and donate just a small amount – why not donate the 50% you might have saved on a coffee or breakfast this morning?

“Every penny really does count. As we have seen from with STA Travel sadly going out of business on Friday, our help is needed more than ever. Please do your bit for your friends and colleagues that are really struggling right now.”

Derek Jones, chairman on Abta LifeLine and Der Touristik UK chief executive, said:  “To see so many talented people in travel losing their livelihoods is heart-breaking, which is why this appeal has my full backing and I encourage everyone to get involved.

“The pandemic is having a devastating impact on our industry and travel businesses of all sizes are having no choice other than to make staff redundant in order to just survive and get through this.

“That means it’s impacting our friends and colleagues who are losing their incomes.  For many people it also means they are facing the next few months without the prospect of other employment in the near future, so our help is needed now more than ever since the charity was founded.

“This appeal is literally a financial lifeline to help our friends in the industry at a time of financial need so please share it and donate whatever you can.”

To donate to TravelCares, click here.