Pax Global Media Inc. owes its success to its resilience, its dedicated team and all the stakeholders in the travel industry. For the past 30 years, the company has managed to stay the course, overcoming difficulties, adapting to a constantly changing and innovative environment. Today, its media tools, from news websites to a range of products and services, are well-known across the country.
The Beginnings of Pax Global Media Inc.
In 1992, Founder Uguette Chiasson’s purchase (a contract signed on a tablecloth of a restaurant) of a franchise of the travel agency Les Vacanciers, in Laval, QC, opened the doors of the industry. Two years later, it went from owner-franchisee to founder of its own retail banner: Club Top Vacances.
Noting the lack of resources available to the agency’s travel advisors, Uguette launched the book L'ABC du Voyage. As a result, advisors would no longer have to rely on their memory alone, or their notes, to help them book travel efficiently. It was a real technical support resource, offering tips for selling airline tickets or insurance, for example. A directory of soleil (sun) destinations and the Allô Voyage calendar was also launched.
In order to sell these books to travel agencies, Uguette set up her own distribution system. This included the purchase of specialized software for sending faxes, paired with two telephone lines per computer. With this, Quick Presse was born, and tour operators would soon rely on this new technology to distribute their promotions. The mailings brought together promotions for packages, educators and others. It was a real gold mine for agents who eagerly awaited the mailings!
To meet the growing demand, the company added four more computers and additional telephone lines.
Over time, virtually all major suppliers in Quebec decided to have their promotions distributed by Quick Presse. On top of the pile was always a daily news page written by Uguette called Hello Travel. A year after the service was launched, the company had 24 telephone lines and 12 computers. In order to invest in magazines and her distribution company, Uguette decided to divest herself of her travel agency. Her company then moved from the basement of a house to a commercial space and hired employees.
In the early 2000s, the rise of the Internet and email was a game changer. Always on the lookout for new trends, the distribution of promotions moved to a new stage, transitioning from fax distribution to email. Initially, both systems (fax and email) were retained to satisfy agencies that had only one email address and preferred faxes. Thus, the complete shift took around two years. Pax Global Media Inc. (originally called Logimonde Media) became the first travel company in Canada to offer an email advertising distribution service, which, today, is still called Quick Presse. In 2002, Uguette’s daily news magazine, which was also sent by fax, went from paper to digital. To mark this important evolution, it changed its name to ExpressVoyage.ca, a well-known name in Quebec.
PAX’s largest expansion: English Canada
Launched in 1992 in Quebec, and in the summer of 2004, English Canada soon discovered Pax Global Media Inc. Despite a competitive market, Uguette, without being able to speak English, succeeded in launching TRAVELHotNews.com (today known as PaxNews.com) for all of Canada. Then, in 2007, an edition for Western Canada, called HelloWestTravel.com (later renamed to PaxNewsWest.com), was launched.
In 2010, the entrepreneur moved to Toronto for six years to fully understand the intricacies of the English market and to oversee the expansion of the business. She took time to learn (and master) the English language. She also opened an office in Toronto and then in Vancouver.
Range of new products
Following the company’s success in English Canada (and in helping travel professionals in their daily lives), new products were launched, such as TousMesÉvénements.com in 2011 (to help manage event registrations) and QuickQuestions.ca in 2014 (a tool for conducting online surveys).
In 2014, as the press community gradually abandoned paper, Pax Global Media Inc. dared to launch its first printed issue of Pax Magazine in May 2014. Available in French and English, each issue was distinguished by its content, adapted to the markets in which it was circulated. The team wanted a different publication: a printed business, labour relations, technology and destination magazine for all travel professionals.
In 2015, another Canadian service was premiered by Pax Global Media Inc. – the PAX Virtual Travel Show. This state-of-the-art tool connected travel professionals with suppliers either from home or work.
COVID-19: the industry’s greatest challenge
The beginning of 2020 will remain sadly etched in our memories. This was the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and a catastrophic year for the travel industry. Pax Global Media Inc. was not spared. Out of necessity, the company downsized its operations, going from fourteen employees to four. Revenues were no longer there. However, despite this, our media activity never ceased. The two editors-in-chiefs, Serge Abel-Normandin and Michael Pihach, as well as Vice-President Media, Nancy Benetton-Sampath, worked hard to keep the company active during the pandemic while ensuring it continued to deliver exceptional quality and service.
During the economic downturn, some of the company’s more expensive products were discontinued. After five years of publication, Pax Magazine ended its run, which was a sad moment for the whole team. The decision to not restart the magazine was mostly due to rising paper and distribution costs. All of the digital versions of Pax Magazines, however, can be found on this website under Products/Pax Magazines/Archives. Meanwhile, other PAX-branded and existing products are still available. They include: PaxNews.com, PaxNouvelles.com, QuickPresse.com (French), QuickPresse.com (English, PaxTravelJobs.com (French) and PaxTravelJobs.com (English).
With the removal of global border restrictions, the future of the travel industry is bright!
On May 1, 2022, Pax Global Media Inc. celebrated its 30-year anniversary, marking three decades of success.
The company continues to build on its achievements as it looks forward to launching new and innovative products and services. The story continues!