Researcher of tourism, sustainablity and conservation with a focus on tourism in slums and slow travel


The main goal of Ko’s PhD, which is due to be finished in 2014 is to explore the experiences of  the owners of small tourism businesses in two townships around Cape Town in South Africa (Langa and Imizamo Yethu). In the research he looks at the ways in which small tourism business owners start their business and their perceptions on opportunities and constraints for linking with the tourism industry in Cape Town and further afield. The research will be used to explore to what extent small tourism businesses are integrated into local, national and global tourism networks. By focusing on the relational nature of small businesses, the research helps reveal possibilities and challenges for small businesses in a practical and multidisciplinary way.

TheCraftvendors in Langa research is done mainly in a qualitative way and makes use of semi-structured and narrative interviews. By giving small business owners the possibility to tell their ‘stories’, the research aims to provide a deeper understanding of the diverse range of influences and power relations that together define the creation and running of a small tourism business in a developing country.

With the research Ko aims to move beyond constructs often used in research on small businesses and entrepreneurship, such as structure and agency. Also he investigates difficulties and possibilities regarding concepts of such as the informal economy and/or social networks in which many of these small businesses are believed to exist. A final important concept in structuring the research is the importance of power on possibilties for running the business and relating to others.


You can download Ko’s publications by going to the publications tab.



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