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Slum tourism, ethics and local economic development – Ko Koens, NHTV Breda University

By on October 12, 2016
Lecturer - profile

Name
Ko Koens

Title
Dr.

Main affiliation
NHTV Breda University

email
koens.k@nhtv.nl

Country
Netherlands

Region
European Union

Qualifications
LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kokoens

CV
http://uni.unhabitat.org/index.php?gf-download=2016%2F10%2FCV-Ko-Koens-2016-short.docx&form-id=9&field-id=48&hash=5e667d320819774d3e6e16e9d580d950f783da5e903c8483a98ed7689d0a3a16

Biography
Dr. Ko Koens is an Associate Professor at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences. His main research interests are city hospitality, sustainable urban tourism and slum tourism, with a specific focus on governance, small businesses and entrepreneurship. In addition, he is the taskforce coordinator sustainable development for the Dutch “Centre of Expertise in Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality” (CELTH). Ko has numerous academic publications on sustainable tourism and is editor of the books “Slum Tourism: Poverty, Power and Ethics” and “Tourism and Geographies of Inequality: The New Global Slumming Phenomenon”. His current focus is the concept of visitor pressure in cities and simulating the sustainable development of urban tourism and transport. Within this context he has worked together various European cities (e.g. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin). Ko is project manager of the Horizon 2020 project “SmartCityHospitality” (www.scithos.eu), which focuses using concepts like smart citizenship and city hospitality to come to sustainable urban tourism.

English Proficiency
Fluent

Previous experience of recording video lectures
Yes

Experience of lecturing to large audiences
Yes

Experience of lecturing to large audiences
Yes

Frequency of lectures
Very often

Recording opportunities
Habitat III attendance and availability
Yes
Saturday 15-Thursday 20 October

PROPOSED LECTURE

Main themes
Sustainable Cities
Social Inclusion
Slum Upgrading
Planning and Design
Governance
Capacity Development

Title
Slum tourism, ethics and local economic development

Focus
Slum tourism, ethics, and local urban development focuses on introducing the fast growing concept of tourism to economically less developed areas, also known as slum tourism, the ethical issues that it needs to deal with, its governance and the ways it may contribute to local development.

Issues which the lecture addresses
The importance of urban tourism as an economic activity has strongly risen in recent years. Not only have urban tourist numbers increased, but tourists also increasingly venture out in new parts of cities. This ‘off the beaten track’ tourism offers opportunities for local economic development, particularly in economically impoverished areas. However, it can also cause disturbance and create conflicts between different groups of residents, visitors and industry actors. In this lecture the ethical debate regarding the place of tourism in modern cities is framed using a facilitated bottom-up sustainable city governance perspective to balance the interests of different city actors.

Short analysis of the above issues
The lecture draws on a series of research projects, performed in the past 10 years, that have focused on the issues that arise when urban tourists ventures to new neighbourhoods,. This includes work on ‘slum tourism’, where tourists visit economically impoverished urban areas in the Global South, as well as work dealing with the growing visitor pressure exerted by tourists on large capital cities in the Global North. It builds on the premise that increase of visitor numbers to cities will require effective governance, which includes careful consideration of different interests. Doing so means learning from the actual experiences of those affected by urban tourism and facilitating different initiatives under a united framework.

Propositions for addressing the issue
Ko Koens discusses slum tourism, the ethical conflicts that may come with it and its potential contribution to local economic development. 1)To provide a broader understanding of the concept of slum tourism, he starts with a short history of slum tourism, starting in Victorian London and ending with the current practices of Global slum tourism 2) Next, the ethical issues of slum tourism are discussed, many of which are touched upon in media reports on this form of tourism. In his discussion, Ko looks at both positive and negative impacts, highlighting how the ethical issues at hand are very similar to those of tourism development in other regions. The extreme nature of slum tourism serves to bring into full view these ethical debate surrounding tourism development, in particular where there is an imbalance in power relations between visitor and host community, or within host communities. 3) Finally, Ko deals with the importance of inclusive governance structures that accommodate for wider local economic development, emphasizing the need to work on increasing the institutional and mobilization capacity of host communities. These are currently often insufficient, yet are essential to better deal with the negatives of slum tourism and make it possible for host communities to capitalize on its potential benefits.

Additional Reading Materials
www.slumtourism.net;

Who Does Slum Tourism Benefit?


www.kokoens.com
https://www.routledge.com/Slum-Tourism-Poverty-Power-and-Ethics/Frenzel-Koens-Steinbrink/p/book/9780415698788
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ko_Koens
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275467071_Slum_Tourism_State_of_the_Art

Draft presentation
http://uni.unhabitat.org/index.php?gf-download=2016%2F10%2Fslum-tourism-ethics-and-LED.pptx&form-id=9&field-id=33&hash=63ffbf341586e3482cbfaf0853698baa6a2170d772d8f653023e449327cccfc4

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