Dear *|FIRSTNAME|*, India's Neeraj Bhatt of TCI: next up in our series ‘Waterstone: Our People, Culture and Community.’

We are proud to present this next issue in our series focusing on the people, culture and communities that make up our diverse Waterstone Collection. Throughout the series we will continue to introduce you to people who, as ambassadors for their local cultures and communities, offer a range of unique experiences with passion and a true sense of hospitality that we believe will help inspire your clients to travel again when the time is right.

“I am extremely proud to represent TCI [a subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, Canada] with its unrivaled position as the most awarded travel company in India and South Asia. Our tailored destination management solutions, seamless ground services, unique itineraries and private, guided travel experiences are key, but our success owes so much to the people behind the TCI brand. Our ‘Destination Knowledge Center’ specialists are the creative heart of TCI, designing incredibly personalized itineraries, while our expert ground operations team across 4 countries acts as the brain of our operation. Together, they allow us to deliver the most authentic and creative destination experiences imaginable."

"Our strong moral compass as a company is another reason I’m honored to be working with TCI. We have a long-standing commitment to sustainable tourism practices and strive overall to minimize the environmental impact to the people and towns with whom we interact, while maximizing the benefits. And we’ve recently become a signatory to 'Women’s Empowerment Principles', a UN initiative to ensure gender equality in every aspect of our operation and marketplace. What could be a more worthy goal?

— Neeraj Bhatt, Senior Vice President, TCI

The Festivals of India — Beyond its bucket-list worthy palaces, forts, and sightseeing, the magical essence of India is found in its savory cuisine, the impressive variety of its unique, handcrafted goods, the vibrant colors that adorn its walls and art, and above all in the warm hospitality of its people. The juxtaposition of exotic, ancient India with modern, booming India makes for a cultural experience unlike anywhere else in this world. While India on any day is a must visit destination for clients seeking cultural diversity and an immersive local experience, participating in any one of the plethora of festivals held throughout the year raises that bar with a kaleidoscope of colors, rhythms, and smells to tantalize all the senses. (See an overview of recommended festivals below).

The Festival of Colors, a 2-day festival celebrated in March, is a fun-filled and boisterous Hindu festival signifying the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and the end of winter.

Diwali is India’s festival of lights. Celebrated in November, it is the largest and brightest festival on the Hindu calendar, where lamps, candles, firecrackers, dresses and ornaments bring forth a medley of sights and sounds.

Festival of Colors Diwali Festival of Onam Hemis Festival Hornbill Festival

The harvest Festival of Onam in August is the biggest in Kerala and is celebrated by everyone, regardless of their caste, creed, or religion. Intricately decorated flower arrangements, boat races, Kathakali dance performances and elaborate meals called "Onasadya" (featuring more than 20 dishes!) are some of the highlights.
The Hemis Festival celebrates the birth of Guru Padmasambhava, the founder of the Tibetan school of Buddhism. Celebrated between June and July, the main attraction here is the Cham (mask) dance, and sacred performances accompanied by cymbals, drums and long horns.
The Hornbill Festival, held in December in Kohima, showcases the folklore and customs of different indigenous tribes located in the Nagaland state. The week long festival features colorful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional paintings, wood carvings and sculptures are also on display.

TCI's Destination Knowledge Center — TCI is a community within itself; one that has a deep understanding of the local cultures and customs of the South Asian countries it serves. Within this community is the ‘Destination Knowledge Center’, a team made up of tourism professionals whose different passions, interests, and on the ground expertise combine to offer you and your clients a wealth of information on a variety of topics. Whether your clients’ tastes tend towards the culinary, artistic, musical, religious, or adventurous, the DKC team will be able to curate customized experiences to match their interests.

"There are simply so many unique experiences in India to enjoy… our Destination Knowledge Center team has helpfully created fact sheets that suggest essential experiences by region which you can share with your clients. I hope you find them useful."

» Experiences in North India
» Experiences in Southern India
» Experiences in East India
» Experiences in West India
» Experiences Beyond India in Nepal, Bhutan
   and Sri Lanka

Learn more about TCI’s destinations here or click here to view sample itineraries, travel updates and more.

Travel Advisor Contacts:
» Dedicated Travel Advisor Desk:
» Sr. General Manager, Abhijit Chowdhury:

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Lynne Partridge
Vice President
Marcelo Vazquez
President & CEO
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