Is Travelhost Really “America’s Number 1 Travel Magazine?”

Hello Everyone,

It’s been quite some time since our last post…but it doesn’t mean we’re not still out here fighting the good fight….and watching.

Today’s post is more of a “question of the day,” for everyone who reads the blog to think about:

Is Travelhost really America’s “Number 1” Travel Magazine?

And, was it ever?

And, Why?

It still says so on the cover of the magazines…all that are left, that is…

THE PUBLISHER’S ADVOCATE

P.S.~ Where have all the Travelhost Associate Publishers gone?

6 Responses to “Is Travelhost Really “America’s Number 1 Travel Magazine?””

  1. Former Employee Says:

    I always wondered that myself. I would think Conde Nast Travel or even Budget Travel are magazines that would be much more popular than Travelhost. There is one Associate Publisher who always refers to themselves (or at least used to) as the city’s number one visitor publication. I think they know better!

  2. another former AP Says:

    That’s a great question! I think Where clearly has that title now. Especially since they ARE in all of the major cities…. Travelhost is NOT. It’s actually quite sad for the current publishers and I feel for them. They are stuck because this is their livelihood and they have truly worked hard to make it work. We know Travelhost is not responsible for their success, the AP is the only one who deserves the credit. It’s probably something they love – in their local market – while loathing Dallas. I wander what happens to all those hard-working publishers when Travelhost finally loses too many markets. Last I heard they were down to about 55 markets. Hellooooooo! What’s your magic number, Jimbo?? Hey APs, what will you do if they fold??

    • bdhickey Says:

      Weird how “America’s Number ONE Magazine” has minimal web traffic, a weak mobile application, AND a smaller distribution than my local PENNYSAVER.

  3. Former Franchisee Says:

    America’s number one travel magazine??? HA!! That’s a joke!!! Try “Googling” TRAVEL MAGAZINES and look at the results. Page after page after page of listings for EVERY OTHER travel magazine BUT Travelhost.

    Their “website” is a JOKE, their mobile app is absolutely useless, and they’re in far fewer markets and far fewer hotel rooms than any of their competitors!

    And forget about any major markets (other than Dallas). Where is Travelhost in major markets and top tourist destinations such as NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, Atlanta, San Diego, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Austin, Houston, Niagara Falls, Atlantic City, Reno/Tahoe or Hawaii… just to name a few??? Nowhere… THAT’S where!!

    Oh… and speaking of “Where” (one of Travelhost’s many and by far superior competitors)… they ARE in those markets and have been for YEARS!! In fact, Travelhost has been in every market I just listed at one point or another, and each and every time Where put them out of business. Multiple times in most cases.

    Most of these markets have had poor, unsuspecting people try to make a go of it time and time again, only to fail each and every time. Just ask them. Travelhost lures it’s victims with a very well choreographed routine, SELLS them the FRANCHISE rights to the markets, then sits back and waits for them to fail so they can resell the same market over and over again.

    They provide absolutely no support whatsoever (at least not any useful support) and essentially leave each franchisee to sink or swim with the vast majority sinking within a year. Just check their records. Their markets each have had three, four, five, six or more FAILED franchises within just a few short years.

    However, their failed business model has finally caught up to them. They have not sold a market (franchise) in well over a year and I strongly believe they’re down to less than 50 markets. Maybe as low as 40. In “markets” such as Lubbock, Texas. America’s number one travel magazine??? Yeah… right!!!

    They have probably around 20 employees left (after having laid off almost their entire staff over the course of last year), they office in a dilapidated, run down building in a warehouse district surrounded by strip clubs, prostitutes and crack heads, and every piece of equipment and furniture in the building is pre-1970.

    I don’t know, but that doesn’t sound quite like the operation of America’s number one ANYTHING to me.

    Incidentally, I speak from experience. I too was one of those poor, unsuspecting fools who were taken in by the Travelhost scam.

    I should have immediately ran away when I reviewed files for the three former franchisees who failed in my market within the previous five years, but I was told and reassured that I was the right person with the right background and if anyone could do it… I could. Not to mention I was going to receive a “tremendous” amount of support and guidance from Dallas.

    HA!! What they didn’t tell me (along with alot of other things they didn’t tell me) was that in addition to the three failures in five years that I did know about, there were SEVERAL others in the five years prior to that!! They lied to me and filled me with empty promises, none of which were ever fulfilled.

    They promised a new, dynamic website which would make my business explode. That never happened.

    They promised I’d have a “team” of people all working closely with ME to help ME succeed. That never happened.

    They promised me a convention where I would be able to meet and interact with other franchisees from around the country to share ideas. That never happened.

    They promised me regular phone calls and unparalleled support. That never happened.

    In fact, just getting them to return MY calls when I needed them was like pulling teeth. I never received any support or guidance from them at all.

    Oh… I did receive a few calls on a regular basis, however. Whenever it was time to put out an edition and payment was due. Oh they would never forget that. But when I needed something… anything… forget it.

    They did put me through a 2 day “training” program, for which I had to arrange and pay for my own flight and hotel accommodations. And let me tell you what a JOKE that was!! NOTHING useful was provided and it turned out to be a colossal waste of time and money on my part.

    Can you believe they actually had their head accounting guy (their CFO, actually, I believe) come in during the “training” to talk to us about paying our Travelhost bills on time and how the process works in regards to paying THEM their money???? GEEZ!!! Yet absolutely nothing having to do with sales and marketing and ways that I could make money was discussed!!

    Unfreakin’ believable!!!!!

    Any production issues I had was always MY fault, and their solution to my financial woes and request for assistance and support was always the same; “just get out there and sell more ads!”.

    They acted as if I were lazy and ineffective in my efforts. Wait a minute? Weren’t they the ones who assured me that theirs was a “selection process” and that I needn’t worry about all the past failures in my market because I was the right person with the right background and experience for this???

    They implied that my lack of success was due to lack of effort and work ethic on my part. Yet, I was working 12 hour days including weekends!!! And I was very, very successful in all my previous endeavors.

    So what the Hell, Travelhost???

    Their magazines are atrocious. The worst layout and design of any credible magazine I’ve ever seen. And we had absolutely no control or say so in the matter. Even the cover images were horrible and completely non relevant to not only the market but to the entire traveler experience. A bowl of jelly beans??? Really???

    Again; what the Hell, Travelhost???

    I can go on and on… but I won’t. I held out for as long as I could but ultimately I walked away from the business as so many others have. I just couldn’t do it any longer. I was up to my eyeballs in debt, had maxed out every credit card I had and took out a second mortgage on my house.

    I’ve since had to declare bankruptcy and my house was almost foreclosed on. My credit score was destroyed and my savings completely wiped out. And I never made a dime with Travelhost. I considered legal action and consulted with an attorney but decided to simply cut my losses and move on.

    One thing Travelhost does well is defend itself in court. It has to. While practically their entire staff was laid off, the one person they kept and always will is their attorney. Think about it. They have an in-house attorney on staff on their payroll! Not just an attorney they use when necessary, but one who actually offices there and draws a salary. What does that tell you about them??

    In fact, I happen to know that they are involved in a class action law suit right now as I write this. A group of several former, failed franchisees have filed suit against Travelhost and it’s in court now. I probably should have jumped on that band wagon… but oh well.

    I’m now regaining control of my life. I’m back at work, making six figures (yeah… I was the failure!), with an excellent benefits package and great, employer provided health insurance.

    Don’t get me wrong… I loved the idea of being in business for myself and will be again someday soon. But next time, I will be much more careful and listen to my instincts before hanging my entrepreneurial hopes on such a bogus, outdated, archaic, obsolete “scam company” such as Travelhost.

    Good luck to all, and thank you Brian for keeping us all informed and hopefully saving a few people out there from throwing their lives away and making the same huge mistake we did. I’m just glad I got out when I did.

  4. bdhickey Says:

    Well, lets see…after googling “travel magazine,” heres what you get….NOT ONE MENTION OF TRAVELHOST.

    Weird, isn’t it?

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=travel+magazine&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    And under “images,” not one picture of Travelhost…not ONE???!!!

    http://www.google.com/search?q=travel+magazine&hl=en&client=safari&rls=en&prmd=ivns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=4lxAToiaLOLj0gGbroXAAw&ved=0CGUQsAQ&biw=1662&bih=911

  5. bdhickey Says:

    In fact, I didn’t get a hit for TRAVELHOST until the 15th page on Google…15th page!

    How’s THAT for number 1?

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