Dr Ko Koens has served as the professor of the New Urban Tourism research focus area since February 2020, which means he is part of the Creative Business research group. Cities are under increasing pressure due to urbanisation and fast-growing urban tourism. How can we strike a new balance between visitors and locals, in such a way that tourism and the social transformation of urban neighbourhoods can go hand in hand? Koens seeks to find and analyse good examples of projects carried out in other countries and tests new initiatives on a local level in Inholland's living labs.
There is a great need for knowledge on how to harmoniously fit tourism in with the societal issues plaguing cities, Professor Ko Koens seeks to collaborate with other parties to develop this knowledge, such as Wageningen University & Research, Erasmus University Rotterdam and several universities of applied sciences, including in the Centre of Expertise Leisure, Tourism & Hospitality. Ko also likes to call on the international network of researchers he has built up over the years, e.g. through several EU-funded research projects.
Ko Koens is a professor at Inholland University of Applied Sciences. In addition, he works as an associate professor of Hotel and Facility at Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas).
Ko Koens studied Social Geography, Environmental Science and Social Psychology. He was awarded a PhD by Leeds Beckett University in Great Britain for a dissertation on the degree to which township tourism contributes to local development. In his work at BUas in recent years, Ko has focused on overtourism and the development of sustainable urban tourism. He has also conducted research on this subject on behalf of the United Nations World Tourism Organization and co-authored the organisation's report on this study. In addition, he is affiliated with the Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality Centre of Expertise and with the University of Johannesburg.
Ko lives in Breda with his partner and two daughters. He is a very social person who is curious about the world and likes to consider issues from various perspectives, which explains why he likes to take an associative and interdisciplinary approach.