Ko Koens

Ko Koens

Lab Lead & Lector New Urban Tourism

3 questions to Ko…

What do your activities for the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Rotterdam involve?

‘As Lab Leader I make sure that the strategy of the Lab is in tune with the New Urban Tourism lectureship of Hogeschool Inholland. Together with partners, I want to build Rotterdam as a city that excels in hospitality; a city where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the city. I frequently organise workshops and presentations at conferences to tell people about what we do; what works and what doesn’t. Whenever interested parties want to talk about collaboration or explore the potential of tourism for themselves and the city itself, I am always happy to engage. For that matter, philosophising about the future of urban tourism over a cup of coffee is also fine’.

What is your favourite place in Rotterdam and its vicinity?

‘I think Katendrecht and the Afrikaander quarter are hugely interesting because of the many ideas and initiatives that come together there. Substantial investments have been made in these quarters, which has led to a positive atmosphere and development. You can see trendy places, but there are traditional shops as well. Every time I walk through these neighbourhoods I discover something new, and an increasing number of events are being organised there too, like POW! WOW! Rotterdam, the street-art festival that left the Afrikaander quarter with a legacy of splendid wall paintings. It is exciting to watch the development of these areas and to see whether they can retain their diversity now that they are gaining in popularity’.

What are your dreams for the Urban Leisure & Tourism Lab Rotterdam?

‘To be able to collaborate, as a Lab, with residents, businesses and local-government bodies, so that we can really push through and deploy tourism, leisure, events, hospitality and the cultural sector to contribute to the solving of the challenges faced by the city. It would be great if Rotterdam could demonstrate how to connect with the needs of residents through tourism, so that the city stands to gain as well as setting an example for the rest of the world’.

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