Some Interesting Travelhost Observations…

Hello everyone, thanks for your continued support and for all the emails. I’ve been working on a few things lately, and have quite a few irons in the fire…and have also tried to spend some time enjoying the summer here in NY.

It’s now been nine months since I’ve figured out the (four-decade old) Travelhost swindle, and have been providing the due diligence needed to investors before they commit to becoming an AP. I’ve made some observations along the way, and thought now would be a good time to share them with my readers. These observations are random, and in no special order, and will be posted here and there over the next week or so as I have time to post them.

1. Travelhost has gone through great lengths to hide this blog from potential investors.

I’ve counted over a dozen made-up websites and blogs bearing the Travelhost name, all created so that a PAID Google Adwords campaign could be designed for each one! All of them have no real substance, redirecting people all over the map, just to divert potential investors attention away from this blog.

Why?

It must be cheaper to pay some SEO company to occupy some of the empty desks down there at Travelhost HQ than it is to actually FIX the problems with their business…or is it??

Perhaps if they put as much effort into their actual website, instead of the “phony” blogs and sites, they’d have a website that might “serve the traveler.”

Until then, I guess “Where” will serve the traveler, and Travelhost will serve Jim Buerger.

2. Associate publishers have been walking away from the Travelhost business model…even markets that have actually made money in the past.

I guess some people finally had enough. They finally took a look at what commercial printers and production houses were charging, saw the difference, and threw in the Travelhost towel!

In case you haven’t seen the prices, take my numbers as an example. With Travelhost, I printed 15,000 copies of a 48 page magazine with a .70lb cover and .60lb stock:

Travelhost price: $15,754 plus $750 delivery.

Other competitive printing prices averaged $5,500 for printing and offered free delivery. Graphic designer would set me back another $2500 or so, bringing my total to about $8000.

FYI…if I were to produce and print my magazine on my own, I’d have saved $8000 per magazine!

3. FTC complaints are PILING UP against Travelhost…

Many of my readers have filed FTC complaints, and rightfully so. I have gotten a few requests to re-post the link to the FTC site where you can easily file a complaint online:

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

Do it, but only if you believe Travelhost has operated as a franchise, and has violated your rights as a result of their violations. Remember, if Travelhost has given you marketing advice, provided use of its brand name at a cost to you, and did not disclose pertinent information (like failure rates and AP info) before you invested….then you may have a legitimate gripe!

4. Many lawyers from around the country have opined that Travelhost’s famous “non-compete” agreement may not be worth the paper that it’s written on.

This section of the agreement has held many AP’s back from going independent in the past, but may no longer be an issue?

More on that in the next post!

Also, if you’d like me to post the actual estimates (or would like to see competitive estimates) just click the link on the right to email me.

THE PUBLISHERS ADVOCATE

One Response to “Some Interesting Travelhost Observations…”

  1. Walked away, head held high! Says:

    Brian,
    when you your blog first started I was not real happy with you or the blog.
    The discomfort it caused was mainly because you were voicing what I had already figured out myself, but did not want to admit. As time went on I read each posting and knew that while you may have had your own point of view, there was nothing that I read that did not contain the truth. As an AP who had been printing with TH for 4 years,barely covering print costs, I was forced to ask myself some serious questions.

    1. Did I want to be building my future with a company (brand) that was misrepresenting their past and current business successes to future APs.
    2. by staying on as a TH AP was I contributing to the myth that TH was actually a good investment.
    3. did I really want to have to defend TH to my hotel and advertising partners and if I did how believable would I be.
    4. was continuing to pay TH the hyper-inflated printing costs they charge worth it in the long run considering the inevitability of TH facing multiple legal challenges, justified attacks to the brand, and the certainty that EVERY sophisticated advertiser would refuse to advertise with a brand that had so many skeletons in a closet that had the door wide open. (If and when the find out)
    5. did the people I tried, unsuccessfully, to sell National and Regional ads to know that I was misrepresenting the distribution/readership numbers even when I didn’t know it?
    6. How can I keep convincing my family that TH is a good company and worth continuing on with when I know that they have signed agreements with me and ALL AP’s promising “wholesale ” costs when I knew that those wholesale prices are roughly twice what could be found, with very little effort on the open market
    I decide that I could no longer be a part of TH and am one of those AP’s that walked away. I chose to not “transition” my market because it would require me to sell the same bag of crap TH sells to unsuspecting buyers.

    So here it is. Thank you for your persistence in getting the word out. Because of the spotlight you have focused on TH and it’s unseemly activities you have helped me to face the truth and get out with dignity and honor. Yes I poured a lot of money and effort to build my market and would have liked to have built it even stronger. But at the end of the day I’d rather walk away looking ahead than stayed a TH AP and wonder every day when I was going to lose more advertisers because they came to believe that the TH brand for 40 years was a money mill that has sucked the life out many otherwise successful entrepreneurs.

    I have learned a lot in the past 4 years and I have no regrets having been associated with TH. But I am glad to be free from them now, while I can still face myself and the acquaintances I have made in the business when I see them in my community.
    .

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