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 - Top-Tier Supplier Commissions
  • YES - Unparalleled Support
  • 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 Commissions
Own Your Own Business
Own Your Client List And Customers
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

Fill out the form below and an Affiliation Specialist will answer any questions you may have.

Hear What Others Have To Say...

David Walsh, Owner of CWCruises, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network.

“The best thing about being affiliated with Avoya Travel is the growth potential for my agency. We go in to business for ourselves with success in mind. When I joined Avoya Travel, the size of my business and my income tripled in about a year. In the 6 years I have been affiliated with Avoya Travel, my business has tripled again.”

David Walsh, Owner of CWCruises, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network.

David’s Agency Booked Over $4 Million in Sales Last Year!

Cyd Clifford, Owner of TravelWorks LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network

“One of the best business decisions I ever made was to join Avoya Travel. I never would have thought that our first full year with Avoya would have been successful enough to produce $1,000,000 in sales using the Avoya Live Leads program!”

Cyd Clifford, Owner of TravelWorks LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network.

Cyd’s Agency Booked Over $1 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’s Agency Booked Over $1 Million in Sales her First Year!

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’s Agency Booked Over $2 Million in Sales Last Year!


“I was an independent agent, no host, for 10 years. Basically, I was all over the place and making a meager salary at best, while putting in extreme hours of work. Once I joined Avoya, Game Changer! It is a one-stop shop. Literally everything I need to be successful.”

Linda Isbell, Owner of Run Away Travels LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Travel Network.

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