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Host Agency or Franchise? Do the Math!

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Trying to understand the difference between host agencies and franchise networks can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the industry. To make it even more confusing some franchises advertise themselves as hosts. Hosts and franchise agreements are very different, including how and what you are charged. Ask us to help you compare all the options. You’ll be surprised!

What is A Host Agency?

Host agencies, like Avoya, are networks that help support the needs of Independent Travel Agencies by offering a variety of resources, such as marketing and technology, professional development programs, ongoing support, and more. But not all travel networks are created equal, so be sure to do your research to be confident they are the right fit, there is a wide range of host agency models and the breadth and depth of services they provide can be limiting.

What is A Franchise?

Franchise organizations may offer the same services as host agencies, but are usually fee-based models with fees for almost everything you can imagine, costing thousands of dollars each year. Often overlooked is the very complicated franchise agreement itself that locks you into a multi-year contract and can limit your flexibility and ability to operate your own business as you wish. Additionally, franchisors generally charge you a royalty fee on the gross sale, which at first sounds like far less than what most hosts charge, but that’s not the case when you do the math.

Top Factors To Consider

So, what are the key differentiators between the two types of travel networks? Let’s take a look at three of the most important initial factors to consider when searching for a travel network for your independent travel business, and compare how host and franchise networks add up against the Avoya Travel Network.

  • COST

    Initial and ongoing costs are an important consideration when choosing between and among hosts and franchises. We’ve all heard “you get what you pay for”, but in selecting between hosts and franchises that’s really not the case. Some have no initial affiliation or operating fees and instead charge monthly fees. Others charge every type of fee – from initial startup costs of up to $10,495, to marketing fees and booking fees, additional fees to add an associate to your business, and everything in between. So, before you sign any contract – short-term or long-term, exclusive or non-exclusive, make sure your prospective network isn’t going to nickel-and-dime you, or as is often the case with a franchise, charge you far more than nickels and dimes.

    Unlike other travel hosts and franchise networks, Avoya is NOT fee-based; Avoya is a Shared Success model. When you do well, we do well. On top of this, Avoya is also the leading host agency; offering the highest levels of support, marketing, commissions, Live Leads, Agent Power technology, and far more compared to other hosts and franchises.


    How long is the initial contract term? How about the length of the renewal term? This can vary depending on the network, but some franchises lock you into a multi-year contract of up to 5 years! What if it’s not the right fit and you signed a long-term contract? You could be stuck paying for years.

    At Avoya, we want your independent travel business to remain a member in the Avoya Network for years because you want to, not because you had to sign a long-term contract. At Avoya the initial agreement is for 6 months, then renewals are for 1 year.


    Another key factor to consider is the flexibility you’ll have to run your business as you wish, with you in complete control, on your own terms. For example, franchise contracts are usually far more restrictive and controlling than host agreements and usually require you to follow specific guidelines outlining how your business is to be operated, including where you operate your business – some even say you can’t move or sell your business without the permission of the franchisor. Does the contract require you book all your travel exclusively with that one network (some do), or do you have the flexibility to do what’s best for your own independent travel business? Are you required to pay a percentage of the gross sale regardless if you had to offer a discount to match another offer? Don’t let the math confuse you – some companies will try to convince you that paying a 3% royalty fee on the gross sale is better for you than 20% of the net commissions. Don’t be fooled.

    At Avoya it’s really simple – as an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network, how, where, and when you work, sell travel, and manage your agency is up to you, as long as it’s done with Integrity and Professionalism. We encourage you to manage your business in a way that works best for you, but with all the resources, American Express branding, and programs, like Live Leads, to help accelerate the growth of your business that only Avoya has to offer.

Avoya Is Unlike Any Other Network.

  • YES - Live Leads, The First And Only ‘Real’ Leads Program In The Industry
  • YES - Integrity and Professionalism
  • YES - Avoya And American Express Branding
  • YES - Highest Performing Network
  • YES - Highest Commissions And Support Ratio
  • NOT - Locked Into An EXCLUSIVE Multi-Year Contract
  • NOT - Fee Based, No Booking Fees
Live Leads - New Client Leads Sent To You
Integrity And Professionalism
Powerful Brand Recognition Of Both Avoya And AMEX
Award-Winning Technology – Agent Power
Highest Support Ratio
Highest Commissions
Own Your Own Business
Own Your Client List And Customers
Highest Sales Per Network Member
Access To Online And Live Professional Education - Avoya University
Royalty And Booking Fees
Permission Required To Move Your Business
Shared Costs When You Discount To Make A Sale
View More

Most good host and franchise networks market that they have the best support, or the best technology, the best marketing, the best reputation, or the best of whatever – but do they? Ask around and compare. Avoya is THE leading host for a good reason.

Contact us to help you compare all the options. We can help!

Get Started Now

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Hear What Others Have To Say...

Susan Wolfson, Owner of Go Astro Travel LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

“Before Avoya I struggled to reach $500K. I did $2 Million last year and now with my husband joining my agency I’m aiming for $3 Million next year!”

Susan Wolfson, Owner of Go Astro Travel LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

Susan Booked Over $2 Million in Sales Last Year!

Mary Arathoon, Owner of Pursue Travel LLC, and Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

“My Independent Agency sold over $1.7 million in our first year as a member of the Avoya Travel Network and that was just from Live Leads. Avoya Travel is innovative – they have the best leads program, great support, and are in the business of helping travel professionals grow their agencies and reach even greater levels of success.”

Mary Arathoon, Owner of Pursue Travel LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

Mary Booked Over $1 Million in Sales her First Year!

Ann Kent, Owner of Sea Ya Travel Inc., an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

“I’ve dreamed of owning my own successful travel company for years and with Avoya it’s now come true!”

Ann Kent, Owner of Sea Ya Travel Inc., an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

Ann Booked Over $400,000 in Sales in her First 90 Days and Over $1.75 Million in her First Year!

Ginny Sublet, Owner of Ginny’s Travel & Cruise LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

“Avoya has won a number of industry awards which is an important mark of integrity and credibility. I have high expectations and I felt that Avoya came nearest to the type of excellence I was looking for a travel network to affiliate with.”

Ginny Sublet, Owner of Ginny’s Travel & Cruise LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

Ginny Booked Over $800,000 in Sales Last Year – less than 3 Years after Travel School!

Janel Fidalgo, Owner of Janel Fidalgo Agency LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

“Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network make more money because of the wonderful support Avoya provides, like the amount of groups they have with extra amenities for the customers. Avoya gives us the ability to do the volume of sales that we do.”

Janel Fidalgo, Owner of Janel Fidalgo Agency LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

Janel Booked Over $2.2 Million in Sales Last Year!

Cindy & David Locke, Owners of Seize the Sea Agency, and Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

“We would not be as successful as we are, if it were not for the Avoya Live Leads program. They have answered the question, “Where is your next customer coming from?” Virtually all of our business is from Avoya Live Leads and their referred friends and family. We never have to prospect, promote, or advertise. We can sit in our home office and click on a Live Lead and do our thing.”

Cindy & David Locke, Owners of Seize the Sea Agency, and Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

Cindy and David Have Been in the Avoya Travel Network for Over 11 Years!

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