Destination Directory

The Allure of the Exotic

Jessica Pociask | Owner/Expedition Guide, WANT Expeditions

With hundreds of expeditions and 80 countries under her belt, Jessica Pociask is considered the most "adventurous woman in travel." From guiding travelers up a volcano to view an active lava lake in Congo (Virunga), to crossing the Greenland ice sheet via dogsled, Jessica's field experience is unparalleled. Her awards include 50 Tours of a Lifetime from National Geographic, DC Modern Luxury's Brightest Entrepreneur's Under 40, and being declared "your tour guide for crazy destinations" by the Washington Post.

As a child, Jessica spent hours poring over her grandfather's collection of National Geographic magazines. "I think it was not only the allure of the exotic destinations and exploration in general, but the teamwork and collaboration that is necessary for a successful expedition that ultimately drew me into the group travel industry."

Jessica is fascinated with the way Internet access is changing the face of travel. "From a tour operator's perspective, it's a great way to connect travelers from all over the world on unique tours to new and exciting destinations." More important, the Internet allows Jessica and her staff to keep in touch with local contacts on a regular basis, through apps such as Skype and Whatsapp and through social media platforms—which enriches their relationships with the communities they visit, making a better tour experience for their guests.

As for Jessica's prized accomplishment, why should there be only one?

"My greatest accomplishment so far is a toss-up between being awarded National Geographic's 50 Tours of a Lifetime in 2014 for WANT Expeditions' Greenland Dogsled trip, and being the first North American company to lead an expedition to the top of Nyiragongo to see its lava lake in Virunga National Park."

Jessica Pociask is one of the 2016 Top 10 Next Gens, as nominated by Groups Today readers for making a difference in the industry with her creative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit. Click here to see the January/February magazine.

Know a group travel professional making an impact on the industry with a fresh, progressive perspective? Nominate him or her for 2017's Top 10 Next Gen here



Add comment

Security code

Recent Blogs

Tale of a New Tourism Town

Could any small town in the world fathom receiving 1 million visitors in 40 days? It is not a dream, but a reality for Danzhai Wanda Town in China.

The Brain, Heart and Courage of ‘Wicked’

Since its premier in 2003, Wicked has garnered worldwide attention and accolades for its storyline, music, set and costume design.

"It's a great show. The music is fun. It's got a lot of spectacle. So many of us grew up watching The Wizard of Oz, and Wicked is very clever. People enjoy watching a take on a story they thought they knew so well," said Susan Sampliner, Company Manager of Wicked.

What's on the Horizon? Generation Z Travel Trends

Millennials better make some room in that plane, train or automobile: Generation Z is beginning to enter the travel scene. Consisting of people born in the late 1990s to 2010s, they have grown up in a connected and instantaneous environment. They're adaptive and technologically savvy global citizens with aspirations to change the world.

And they want to see the world, too.