Senior Tourism Specialist
IFC (World Bank Group) - Washington, DC

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IFC (World Bank Group)

Washington, United States of America

Job sector:
Finance & Insurance

Job type:


The World Bank Group’s Investment Climate Department (CIC) assists governments of developing countries and transition economies.

This position is for a Senior Tourism Specialist within the World Bank’s Investment Climate Department of the World Bank and will be based in Washington, DC.

In addition to Advisory Services such as those offered by CICIN and C3P, IFC finances projects which are commercially viable and environmentally and socially sound while contributing to development. IFC's Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services (MAS) has a special unit focusing on hotel projects. These mainly include investments in emerging markets in hotels/hotel companies or hotels in mixed use developments. The IFC has through its history invested more than US$2 billion in more than 200 hotel projects. MAS helps client companies expand and grow while providing leadership in environmental and social sustainability so firms can achieve and maintain a strong triple bottom line. The candidate would be expected to interact with these investment teams to identify investment climate impediments, share information and knowledge, and contribute to the overall IFC approach to tourism globally.

Duties and Accountabilities:
The Sr. Tourism Specialist will be expected to work with regional counterparts to help supervise and develop the tourism-related project portfolio in CICIN and contribute to growth in this area through business development, research, scoping visits. The position will include the following specific responsibilities and deliverables:

Product Development and Project Supervision

  • Lead and manage the implementation of the overall product development project (Global Tourism 2) for tourism sector work in the Investment Climate Business Line
  • Be part of a global core team of tourism specialists that meets regularly and develops thought leadership tourism sector work across the World Bank Group.
  • Work closely with existing regional tourism expertise to improve project design and implementation of tourism-related projects
  • Work closely with CICIN’s key staff across regions to develop and disseminate knowledge and learning products.
  • Develop and maintain a live database of relevant tourism indicators and benchmarks.
Economic Analysis

  • Work closely with the CICIN Manager, Global Product Specialist, and regional counterparts to provide intellectual leadership on the tourism agenda, including: (i) the economic underpinnings of tourism sector reforms; and (ii) the link between tourism sector reform and investment facilitation and growth, economic development and competitiveness;
  • Advise CICIN and Regional Advisory Service teams on specific analytical and research questions that relate to the microeconomic and institutional underpinnings of tourism sector reforms
  • Work closely with the impact program team and provide advice on the economic and policy aspects of the global tourism program
Links to Investment and Advisory Services, World Bank, Others

  • Serve as the primary point of contact on the tourism sector between CICIN and 3CP operations and engage successfully with the wider network of IFC advisory products that relate to the tourism sector.
  • Help with the development of a strategy to guide the execution of IC tourism advisory services that leverages and supports project development needs in IFC investment operations.
  • Develop and facilitate an efficient response to tourism sector PPP requests -- drawing on staff and knowledge resources across the WBG
  • Develop and maintain active engagement with related WB units in FPD (e.g., Competitive Industries and Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Global Practices), SD (Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism) and regional VPUs, as well as, external think tanks, research institutes and donor organizations active in the tourism sector.
Selection Criteria:
Advanced degree (Masters or equivalent) in a relevant area including international business, economics and/or international relations;

  • At least 5 years exposure to the hotel industry;
  • At least 8 years experience in tourism sector development, policy-making, tourism investment promotion, and/or tourism investments in developed and developing countries
  • The candidate should have demonstrated experience in hotel and resort project development.
  • S/he should be comfortable building financial models and should have an in-depth understanding of hotel operations.
  • Established leadership skills and team player skills that will permit the candidate to position tourism work within the institution and facilitate a global network of individuals that are not direct reports and vary in terms of seniority
  • A strong conceptual and strategic ability combined with good communication skills and client focus;
  • Strong research and analytical capability, including extensive knowledge of relevant analytical tools, data analysis, benchmarking, training and knowledge management, knowledge management and training tools and instruments, on-line services and delivery methods, etc.;
  • Demonstrated ability to work and implement projects effectively in multi-disciplinary teams – including in one or more developing countries;
  • Excellent networking skills, bringing a good existing network of contacts and credibility within both the tourism development and broader tourism industry (including major private sector players and industry associations)
  • Fluency in English essential as well as proven technical writing skills. Fluency in other languages, particularly French and Arabic is desirable.
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