The IFC said the tourism-demand assessment would measure the size, travel patterns, and economic value of current tourist arrivals in the country.
"It will assess the effectiveness of existing marketing activities and, crucially, project volumes and value of potential arrivals, with specific emphasis on high-spending niche markets. The projections will guide government and private sector investments in tourism-related infrastructure, products, and services," the IFC said.
"The research will provide recommendations to the government to help it match tourism investment, development, and marketing to target markets," IFC Pacific manager Tom Jacobs said.
"Finding out what drives people to visit PNG and what is needed to bring more tourists - be it bird watchers, adventure seekers, or those attending cultural shows - will help grow holiday arrivals and create new markets in the future."
In addition to national-level scoping, the study will provide specific market research and recommendations for East New Britain and Milne Bay.
The IFC said Euromonitor International had been contracted to conduct the research over the next five months and the study would incorporate in-depth interviews with source-market and in-country stakeholders.
The Tourism Promotion Authority said the research would build the case for necessary investment to grow niche markets that visit specific attractions.
"PNG offers a diverse and unique visitor experience, with world-class diving, surfing, vast flora and fauna, rich cultural experiences, major walking tracks, as well as Second World War historical sites," PNG Tourism Promotion Authority CEO Jerry Agus said.
In 2016, Papua New Guinea received nearly 200,000 international visitors with 29% of those traveling for a holiday, including by air and cruise ships.
The IFC said PNG cruise tourism had grown rapidly over the past few years and now contributed an estimated additional 20,000 to 30,000 tourists a year. The addition of ports of call in Milne Bay and East New Britain has bolstered this potential.