Job Details

(Senior) Industry Specialist – Tourism (Hospitality)

Job #: req26948
Organization: IFC
Sector: Investment
Grade: GG
Term Duration: 3 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Location: Washington, DC,United States
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): French, Spanish
Closing Date: 6/2/2024 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC



IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2023, IFC committed a record US$43.7 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises. For more information, visit

IFC’s Tourism, Retail and Property (TRP) team sits within the Health Education and Services (HES) Division. The TRP sector’s business has been growing significantly and Tourism is an important sub-sector within TRP. IFC has played a key role in supporting this sector in developing countries and particularly during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. The team works across the hotel and resort spectrum from business to leisure, luxury to budget, transient to extended stay, providing both project and corporate finance to large owner/operators as well as small players. In addition, the team also supports development and deployment of relevant advisory and upstream tools to strengthen private sector’s capability and development impact and catalyze further investment in sector in the emerging markets – sustainability and finding new and innovative ways to meaningfully engage the sector is key.

To support the growth of this business, IFC is recruiting a Tourism Sector Specialist with considerable practical experience in emerging markets in the sector. The Tourism Sector Specialist plays a key role in helping IFC to evaluate project investments in addition to advising on strategy, developing strategic relationships, supporting innovation and knowledge management, and playing their part in positioning IFC as a thought leader in this space. The successful candidate is expected to have rich strategic and operational experience in the tourism sector, preferably in operating and/or asset managing hotels in emerging markets, have sound business judgment, and be able to work in investment teams by providing expert opinion on the technical and operational aspects of investment proposals from across our global network. The selected candidate will be based in Washington DC and will work under the oversight of the Global Sector Manager. The position will have a global focus and ability to undertake regular travel commitments, is expected (primarily developing economies).

Note: If the selected candidate is a current Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, s/he will retain his/her Regular or Open-Ended appointment. All others will be offered a term appointment with a 12-month probation period (term contracts are usually 3 years with the potential for reappointment if all performance objectives are met and business case needs remain).

Duties and Accountabilities:

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

•  Participate in business origination activities, build client networks and maintain client relationships;
•  Appraise and assess the technical and commercial feasibility of potential projects and companies that are seeking an investment from IFC (including analysis of key areas such as business model, market, management, operations, and agreements with operators where applicable) and provide advice for project improvement and its long-term sustainability/feasibility. Preparation of detailed written reports with clear views on the technical and financial feasibility aspects of the proposed investment, supported by analyses of sponsors and the hotel market as well as precise considerations for IFC; 
•  Participate in portfolio management of existing projects while providing value-addition to our clients by providing expert advice to clients on key aspects of their operations and performance;
•  Support the investment officers in developing comprehensive financial projections for all investment cases; 
•  Support the development and implementation of IFC’s Tourism sector strategy both globally and regionally;
•  Contribute to the development and internal and external dissemination of information, knowledge and benchmarking relevant to the tourism sector;  
•  Engage and work with colleagues from across the World Bank Group. Provide input on various tourism technical assistance initiatives with IFC and the broader World Bank Group;
•  Extract lessons learned from IFC investment projects and develop best practices to apply on future projects;
•  Keep updated on and share as relevant with the team sectoral and industry news, trends and related developments;
•  Hire and supervise consultants where needed to support IFC’s work in tourism sector.

Selection Criteria

•  A Master's degree in a relevant field is required.
•  20+ years of deep practical-based experience in the hotel industry, preferably on the hotel development/operational/asset management side or on the technical/consulting front in senior management roles (typically late/mature-career professionals). Preference will be given to candidates with solid experience in hotel development, project management, and hotel operations with a hotel owner-operator/developer-investor and/or a hotel chain;
•  Experience in and knowledge of emerging trends in the sector and new business models such as online aggregators, hybrid models, sustainable tourism will be a plus;
•  Ability to work across different geographies, cultures and organizations and on multiple projects simultaneously is required; Significant international exposure, including experience of working in developing countries, will be a key advantage;  
•  Extremely flexible to meet the demanding global travel requirements of the job;
•  Excellent communication skills in English. Knowledge of another major business language such as French or Spanish is an advantage;
•  A strong sense of curiosity and the ability to work both in teams and independently would be strong attributes;
•  Position requires sound business judgment to identify the strengths and weaknesses of tourism projects and to provide precise evaluation of technical, commercial, and managerial issues; and
•  Ability to clearly communicate verbally and in detailed written reports (for example when assessing and appraising potential investment projects).
•  Applications should be sent in English. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.  Cover letter should clearly describe the relevant results the candidate has delivered in prior positions, rather than simply listing responsibilities.  All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.  Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

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