National War College visits TIM School

Jerry Agrusa and War College group at the presentation
TIM School professor Jerry Agrusa with members of the National War College group during its visit to Hawai‘i

National War College visits TIM School

By Chassidy Sakamoto, MS in TIM candidate  

The National War College (NWC) from Washington, D.C., recently visited Hawai‘i and requested that School of Travel Industry Management (TIM School) professor Jerry Agrusa, Ph.D., provide a presentation to the group on “Understanding the role of tourism in Pacific Island Countries (PIC) economies and how climate change and pandemics affect tourism.”

Agrusa was selected due to his expertise in tourism specifically in the region and asked to share the importance of tourism to the region’s economic vitality and the impacts of climate change. He provided a presentation to the group about howtourism is vital to most PIC economies, the effects of COVID on the area, and how ecotourism is a growing facet, presenting an opportunity to expand tourism while promoting sustainable business practices and climate change consequence mitigation.

The group was particularly interested in opportunities to strengthen the United States’ presence, engagement and partnerships with countries in the region and gaining a deeper understanding of the role of tourism as a regional economic engine. The group valued Agrusa’s time and sharing his expertise and awarded him the NWC’s “Challenge Medal” as a token of their appreciation.

The NWC’s mission is to educate future leaders of the Armed Forces, Department of State and other civilian agencies for high-level policy, command and staff responsibilities by conducting a senior-level course of study in national security strategy. The curriculum emphasizes the joint and interagency perspective.

One of the group’s members, Lt. Col. Josh Goodrich, wrote:

“Dr. Agrusa's presentation highlighted the vital role of tourism in the Pacific island economies and the financial impacts of global pandemics. Climate change poses an existential threat to several Pacific islands; however sustainable tourism offers a two-pronged strategic opportunity for economic growth while mitigating the impacts of climate change.”