Fines for offering travel agent services without a license go up to $15,000 for individuals.
Quebec's consumer watchdog, the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC), confirmed that the Sunwing party flight organizer doesn't have a travel agent license.
28-year-old James William Awad is the man behind 111 Private Club, the members-only organization responsible for the trip to Tulum.
In a statement shared with MTL Blog, the OPC cited section two of Quebec's Loi sur les agents de voyages, which defines a travel agent as "any person, corporation or association who, on behalf of others or its members" arranges or offers travel, travel reservations or lodging reservations.
Section four states that "no person shall transact business as a travel agent, hold the title of travel agent or give reason to believe that he or she is a travel agent" without a license.
It is not clear whether Awad ever offered or claimed to offer travel agent services, but in a January 6 statement, he said he had "chartered a private aircraft and private transportation" for the group of influencers and reality television stars.
The OPC did not make any conclusions in its statement, but said it was looking into the case and takes the matter "very seriously."
The agency further stated that anyone found guilty of violating section four of the law could be fined between $600 and $15,000.
Three other businesses tied to Awad, gyms in Montreal, Laval and Blainville, have received notices of violation from the OPC for allegations related to credentials. The office said the notices "mention that he cannot operate a health studio without holding the permit required by law."
In the January 6 statement, Awad said that the Tulum trip was his "first travel event."
"The 111 private club is a dream and a vision that I poured my heart and soul into creating," he wrote.
"I have significantly learned, and I am still learning from this experience. Learning from them is what makes the difference."
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