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IC-036-21- Tourism Sector Development Specialist


  • Organization: UNDP - United Nations Development Programme
  • Location: erbil/iraq
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public, Private Partnership
    • Sustainable trade and development
    • Sustainable Tourism
  • Closing Date: 2021-06-12

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In recent years, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) launched a strategic plan to bring more tourism into the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The KRI possesses potential to draw numerous tourists within the Middle East region due to a number of factors including its natural landscapes and archaeological and religious sites from a culture and history that traces back thousands of years. KRG indicated that it regards development of the Tourism sector as a top priority along with the Industrial and Agricultural sectors.

The plan has laid out a roadmap for the development and sustainability of the tourism industry up to 2025. The plan’s key objective is to establishing a sustainable tourism industry in the KRI that contributes to the region economically, culturally and socially. ?To achieve the plan’s long-term goals and to oversee the development of the Tourism sector, KRG has established the General Board for Tourism. Its key tasks are to:

  • Strengthen the management of tourism policies, including the updating of legislation, classification, licensing, educational, tourism and statistical systems and the developing of international relations.
  • Prepare and develop tourism plans and strategies, improve project planning quality and prepare tourism investment in partnership with the private sector.
  • Develop the tourism brand and manage tourism marketing strategies and communication processes; media, advertising, and information technology.
  • Enable the private sector to perform its role in developing tourism efficiently.
  • Strengthen and enable the tourism sector to operate based on international standards.
  • Manage archaeological and heritage sites as critical assets to the tourism sector.
  • Build the institutional capacity of both the public and private sectors.
  • Follow up the implementation of the strategic plan initiatives, programs and projects.

These ambitions require detailed technical assistance to move forward, as the current state of tourism infrastructure, legislation, and human capacity in KRI requires development. Therefore, the General Board of Tourism is working with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Iraq’s Funding Facility for Economic Reform – KRG (FFER-KRG) to identify a Tourism Sector Development Specialist that can advise on numerous areas relevant to the tourism sector that will help advance the goals of the Tourism Strategic Plan. The Specialist will support the Board of Tourism on the following areas:

  • Tourism Strategy and Policy – the Specialist will review the 2013 Strategic Plan and the existing Tourism Policy and Strategy and revise where necessary.
  • Tourism Law and Regulations – the Specialist will provide recommendations for reform and improvements to the existing Draft Board of Tourism Law and related regulations.
  • Tourism Industry Permissions and Procedures – the Specialist will review the processes through which the Board of Tourism reviews, provides permissions and licenses to, and classifies hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other relevant businesses. These processes shall be reviewed and improved to emulate world-class tourism sectors around the world.
  • Criteria for Quality Assessments and Internal Processes and Procedures – the Specialist will review and improve internal mechanisms in the tourism sector to ensure they are efficient and speedy, and that standards for high quality service are established. The Specialist shall also provide training support to help enhance these mechanisms, and to make existing employees aware of quality standards.
  • Quality Control Support – In addition to establishing criteria for quality internal mechanisms within the tourism sector, the Specialist shall review the systems to incentivize good performance and to penalize poor performance when it comes to following quality standards, as well as on reforms for the overall quality control system within the tourism sector.
  • Investor Training – the Specialist shall provide training support to inform key tourism sector investors about the importance of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards for Tourism and related services.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) tourism sector due to the resulting travel restrictions as well as economic instability. The KRI tourism sector has faced major slowdown in 2020 due to spread of coronavirus, as the Government of Iraq and the Government of Kurdistan Region have introduced travel restrictions in an attempt to contain its spread.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Tourism Sector Development Specialist will work under the direction of the UNDP FFER-KRG Project Manager to support the KRG Board of Tourism on the areas identified above. Work will progress in several phases beginning with a desk review; consultation with stakeholders; review of existing processes, procedures and classification and quality criteria; then provision of recommendations and technical support to the Board of Tourism; and finally providing trainings where required.

  1. Desk Review
    1. Conduct desk review of KRG Tourism Strategic Plan – To understand the needs, challenges, and SWOT of the Tourism sector in KRI, the Specialist shall thoroughly review the existing Strategic Plan.
    2. Conduct desk review of existing draft laws and regulations – the Specialist shall review the Draft Board of Tourism Law and relevant regulations to have an understanding of the legal framework surrounding the tourism sector in KRI.
    3. Conduct desk review of existing tourism business licensing/permission processes and procedures – the Specialist will review the processes through which the Board of Tourism reviews, provides permissions and licenses to, and classifies hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other relevant businesses.
    4. Conduct desk review of quality assessment criteria, internal procedures/processes, and quality control regulations – the Specialist shall assess the existing criteria and processes to ensure that internal processes are conducted to standards that promise positive experiences for tourists coming to the KRI.
  2. Conduct Consultations with Stakeholders – the Specialist shall first share findings and recommendations from the desk review with relevant KRG Board of Tourism officials, to help them better understand any issues with the existing system, current needs, and best practices that can be adopted by KRG. Additionally, assess the measures taken by government to slowdown the spread of coronavirus and their impact on the tourism industry.
  3. Provision of Necessary Technical Support  to KRG Board of Tourism – The Specialist will then provide necessary recommendations and support to KRG Board of Tourism. These will include, but are not limited revisions to:
    1. KRG Tourism Strategic Plan – additions, changes, and edits will be made to improve the plan where needed and required.
    2. KRG tourism laws and regulations – recommendations shall be made to KRG Board of Tourism on tourism laws and regulations
    3.  KRG tourism business license/permission processes and procedures – revisions shall be made to these processes and procedures to make them more speedy and efficient, and to mirror best-in-class processes and procedures in leading tourism locations.
    4. KRG Board of Tourism quality assessment and classification criteria, internal procedures/processes, and quality control regulations – revisions shall be made to each of these to ensure greater employee performance, improved management possibilities across the tourism sector and development of the quality of the tourism industry sector of KRI.
    5. Develop a set of recommendation based on best practices used to reduce the impact on tourism  based on the COVID measures taken by government to contain the spread of coronavirus.
  4. Design and Deliver Trainings to Relevant Recipients – Based on the recommendations given per the desk review, the Specialist shall design relevant trainings for key stakeholders in the tourism sector. These include but shall not be limited to:
    1. KRG employees in the Tourism Sector – Trainings shall address quality control standards and quality assessment criteria, to ensure all employees are aware of and in agreement with the effort to improve KRG’s tourism sector and its supporting government infrastructure.
    2. Key Tourism Sector investors – Training shall convey to Investors the importance of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards for Tourism and related services.


  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to engage in substantive technical discussion with stakeholders
  • High analytical skills oriented towards problem-solving
  • Leadership and self-management
  • A focus on results and a willingness to accept critique/feedback from supervisors
  • An energetic approach to work with a positive attitude
  • An openness to new approaches for managing work complexity and unexpected issues
  • Team spirit and excellent interpersonal skills
  • The ability to model the UN's values and ethical standards, and to promote UNDP’s and the UN’s vision, mission, and strategic goals
  • Sensitivity and adaptability to cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age.

Required Skills and Experience

A. Education and Professional Qualifications Required:

Master’s Degree in tourism management, tourism hospitality, tourism development, tourism industry quality management or other related fields. 

B. Experience and Skills Required:

  • Minimum of 7 years extensive experience in tourism sector management and development.
  • Experience with the development of Tourism sector strategy
  • Experience with legal and regulatory aspects of the tourism sector
  • Experience with tourism industry classification, quality assessment criteria, process and procedures

C. Languages Required:

Fluent in English written and oral and Knowledge of Arabic/Kurdish is a distinct asset.


The application should contain below mandatory documents:

  • The technical proposal should also contain personal CV (Mandatory) , indicating education background/professional qualifications, all experience, furthermore, providing duly filled the form of  Letter of Confirming Interest and Availability (Mandatory) whereby includes financial Proposal (Mandatory) that indicates the all-inclusive fixed total contract price, supported by a breakdown of costs, as per deliverables mentioned in this TOR, in addition to  the contact details (email and telephone number) of the candidate and at least three (3) professional references.

The detailed terms of reference and the Letter of Confirming Interest and Availability form are available in the following link with mentioned Job Title above  :

Please note you can upload only one document in the online application, therefore combine the CV, and the Letter of Confirmation and Availability as one pdf and upload it accordingly.moreover, please note that failure to submit required mandatory documents by UNDP will lead to rejection of your offer.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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