There are numerous blank spots in the empirical analysis of social capital. Researchers, international organisations and research groups offer various approaches for assessing social capital. Regardless of the level on which the social capital is analysed - public, business or individual - it is possible to differentiate among three basic methods that can be used, namely, the micro approach, the macro approach and the mezzo approach. Cooperation (its form, structure and conditions) is a basic element of social capital. This article describes the first step in analysing social capital in Latvia by focusing on cooperation as the characteristic element of social capital and its relation to indicators of business development in the tourism industry. It is clear that there is a need for in-depth analysis which deals with the dynamic aspects of social capital by focusing on prerequisites for establishing social capital and the morphology of social networks in order to identify which type of social networking structure facilitates successful cooperation in the tourism industry.