Capital investment is vital for sustainable tourism growth, particularly in times of geopolitical turmoil. This study examines how tourism investment was influenced by geopolitical risks considering social globalization as a moderating factor. Data were collected from 18 developing economies between 1995 and 2018. The results from the fixed effects and the least squares dummy variable-corrected methods show that the geopolitical risks negatively affect capital investment in tourism, with social globalization playing a moderating role in alleviating the adverse effect. The results were robust to different measures and analyses. The study advances our understanding of sustainable tourism growth amid geopolitical turmoil. Policymakers, especially those from developing economies, are suggested to be vigilant about the media atmosphere of geopolitics and enhancing social globalization as a countermeasure against politically turbulent times. The study also provides implications for alleviating the impact of the global pandemic on tourism investment.