Questions Submitted By An Associate Publisher In The Travelhost Network:

Hello Everyone,

Today I’m just copying and pasting questions I received from an Associate Publisher yesterday. They are good questions, and though they may repeat some of the things I’ve said before, they reflect someone else’s point of view. Someone who has also spent some time in this network that Travelhost has assembled. (A network, I’d like to point out, of VERY smart, VERY driven, VERY capable ENTREPRENEURS!)

I point this out, because it’s Travelhost’s position that everyone who fails (90+%?) at this business is at fault, not Travelhost. I say that’s BS! They’ve hand-picked VERY good people, it’s TRAVELHOST’S BUSINESS MODEL THAT IS FAILING IT’S PEOPLE.

ANOTHER VETERAN ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER WRITES (unedited):

Here are some additional KEY questions, at least from my standpoint that should be added to
the blog.

1. Why does Travelhost mislead all AP’S by claiming that “By paying a premium price to
become a full fledged DISTRIBUTOR that in return Travelhost will offer “Wholesale Prices”
on the printing of their magazines?” This is an outright LIE! By definition alone, the term
Wholesale Pricing which is interrupted by most every living person already means HUGE
SAVINGS over traditional costs, however, the prices actually charged by Travelhost to
“print” a magazine can be as much as 50% HIGHER than most any other “Printer” in America
would charge…And to add insult to injury, most every other printer will also deliver a FAR
SUPERIOR product than what is produced by Travelhost? Even though Travelhost could
improve any market magazine, they DON’T want to spend the money…less profits for them.
These actions place many of the AP’s in a significant market disadvantage (can’t compete
equally) and directly impacts their ability to make more money and to grow their business.

2. That raises the next big question…At NO time during the pre-interview process or BEFORE
any potential AP investor ever signs up to become a TRAVELHOST AP (and issues the
franchisee fee to Travelhost), does Travelhost ever COMMUNICATE or DISCLOSE to any
potential investor AP the following information. Despite being told by Travelhost executive
that Travelhost will work with every AP in whatever manner is required to build the market,
assist you in growing your market, produce the best possible magazine for your market,
(they never out this in writing…just say it) it’s all another LIE! Travelhost AP’s are
governed entirely by the stringent corporate policies in place by Travelhost and are
mandated by the Existing RULES and REGULATIONS as imposed by Travelhost, which some
(but not all) are ultimately disclosed to each AP at the future TIPS CLASS. This ONLY takes
place after all franchisee-market AP docs have been signed, and the franchisee fee checks
from the AP have been delivered, and they have also CLEARED Travelhost’s corporate
account.

3. Here’s another BIGGIE. Why does Travelhost market, advertise and promote their company
as a “40 year Publisher” and not the “40 Year Printer” which they actually are? First and
foremost, Travelhost does not publish any Travelhost editions, so how can they describe or
market themselves as a Publisher? By industry definition a Publisher is an entity/organization
that derives there revenues from selling advertising. In all likelihood, 90% of Travelhost’s
annual revenues are generated from printing (minus new AP franchisee fees)which makes
them a Printer NOT a Publisher, RIGHT?. So this now establishes Travelhost as both a
Franchisor and a Printer, NOT a Publisher.

4. From a sheer ethical standpoint, when AP turnover (that also financially destroys these
AP’s and their families) are 2-3 times greater than current, successful, full-time AP’s, is it
not the ethical, (if not a fiduciary duty of the owners-principles and senior management of
Travelhost) to also take AT LEAST the same amount of time as they do SELLING you on
this great “life opportunity” to also FULLY DISCLOSE the HIGH RISK nature of doing business
with Travelhost? The only reason for NOT DOING SO would be to knowingly participate in
unethical business practices by CONCEALING this information from potential franchise
investors. Such actions can only confirm that they are in fact a significant part of
Travelhost’s 40-year marketing plan for generating its annual revenues. It could easily
be alleged that Travelhost (knowing the millions to be earned from “regularly churning
AP’s) knowingly made this a key element of the original business plan. A component that
one could allege was a clever tool with the full intention for DECEIVING unsuspecting
new franchise investors. No matter what Travelhost may contend, this has been an
constant pattern, a regulate routine of their daily business for years. Legal implications
aside, is their no responsibility to honor or integrity on behalf of Jim Buerger Travel
founder and Chairman. The ability fro him to know RIGHT over WRONG, or even a code of
ethics that he feels are professional requirements for corporate behavior and conducting
business?

5. Why does Travel mislead every new AP by implying that their Legendary TIPS CLASS
(a “Mandatory Seminar” and one which the company implies is provided to assist AP’s in
becoming successful) is actually nothing more than the companies forum, a 2-3 “Boot
Camp” which is entirely focused (outlined in a 3 pound binder that must be 250 plus pages)
on EXACTLY how Travel demands and stipulates (exactly like a franchisee) every AP will
adhere too the current policies dictating how each AP will design, create the look and feel,
the color format,design format, the font size, the required layout, the content requirements
and how each issues creative materials will be submitted and delivered to Travel. These
stipulations also come with imposed financial penalties which Travelhost, at their
desecration can charge to any AP for any failure to NOT meet these criteria. Unless ALL of
these requirements are adhered too for every magazine submitted during your reign as an
AP, Travelhost has the right NOT to PRINT your magazine? So there is NO confusion, unless
EVERY ONE of the hundreds of listed policies as outlined in the TIPS Class “AP Manual”
are adhered too 100%…Travelhost WILL NOT print an AP magazine.

6. Could someone explain to me why Travelhost forces every AP to sign a waiver-disclaimer-
indemnity document anytime an AP may request any change for whatever the reason.
Changes that could relate to terms, a credit for a Travelhost created production error,
adjustment in production levels (copies printed) a printing schedule change or any other
bizarre situation, but with every such change, Travelhost DEMANDS a document be signed
by each AP which HOLDS THEM HARMLESS for any past actions-dealings-policy changes
or communications ever held between Travelhost and that AP, including the one that may
have just happened 30 seconds earlier. Seems to me that not only is this practice
predatory and I allege to be an illegal act, because only a company with LOTS to hide
would ever consider abiding by such an outrageous method of dealing with people…let
alone franchisees. It’s nothing short of blackmail and is designed to force the AP into
signing something they might otherwise not do. It has even been reported that Travelhost
has threatened to REFUSE shipment of an AP’s magazine into that market unless such
a document has been signed.

Brian…these should augment the current listings for your blog.

So, it appears that I’m not the only one in the network that sees these issues as serious ones. In fact, there are MANY people that have reached out to me, but there’s a problem: Most Associate Publishers are not questioning TH on these problems.

Until now. One by one we’ll solve these problems, folks.

Travelhost, can we please have some answers on these questions? Please?

One Response to “Questions Submitted By An Associate Publisher In The Travelhost Network:”

  1. travelhost AP Says:

    Something else for your consideration, potential Travelhost investors….

    The Travelhost network only includes about 80 markets, most of which are not in major cities. Travelhost charges an additional investment amount giving you the “right” to sell/distribute national and regional advertising. Given the lack of market coverage in many larger cities, the likelihood of anyone selling a national ad is likely zero! They did have a few months of national ads for tequila and vodka. These were placed by the people who bought the territory for Mexico because they had direct ties to the liquor company, and not because they “sold” them. Most of the regional ads you see in these issues are placed at no charge by the local APs. Ask Travelhost in your due diligence which regional ads are “paid” ads. Most are not. So ask yourself, is it really worth another $XX,000 to buy a “right” to something you will likely never benefit? You decide!

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