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  • Writer's pictureNick Kemp

Task 2 Essay: Tourism and Cultural Traditions

Question: Some people think that cultural traditions will be destroyed when they are used as money-making machines aimed at tourists. Other people believe that it is the only way to save such conditions in the world. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Band 8+ Sample Answer:

(Intro) Currently, the issue of whether cultural traditions should be exploited as money-making machines targeted at tourists is the subject of much debate. Although, commercialising these aspects of a culture has its drawbacks, I am still of the opinion that it will be the foundation of the preservation of traditional culture in the long-term.

(Body 1) It is generally agreed upon that cultural commercialisation can lead to the gradual loss of indigenous culture.particularly in the developing world. In fact, to make any form of tradition more palatable for tourists, local people make some small but nonetheless significant alterations to these activities and customs ensuring that visitors may not encounter anything strange or scary. For example, Street Food Festivals in Ho Chi Minh City, which invariably would sell traditional cuisine, are actually selling food whose tastes and ingredients have been changed to satisfy the tourists’ appetites. As a result, many dishes no longer have their original taste and are becoming increasingly westernised as food tourism develops.

(Body 2) On the other hand, few would dispute the fact that places rich in culture can become more financially independent when cultural tourism prospers because it no longer relies on government funding or support from non-profit organisations, which are usually working to tight budgets and limited resources. If these areas could generate money from doing business through utilising their local cultures and customs, this would largely ameliorate the current situation. An example of this is tailoring shops in Hoi An Ancient Town. Tailors of the Ao Dai (the traditional Vietnamese ‘long dress’) are changing their style of making these clothes to fit with the modern fashion trends, making them more fitted and shorter. tourists are seemingly impressed as sales have increased.. These profits not only can help them to sustain their own businesses but also keep the Ao Dai alive.

(Conclusion) In conclusion, while turning cultural traditions purely into a money-making exercise could lead to the disappearance or at least a dilution of some cultural features, I feel it is more important to allow cultural traditions to evolve along with social changes. By doing this we can preserve the core values while replacing the obsolete constituents. (352 words).

Essay: Student Essay, fully corrected and upgraded by Nick Kemp, former IELTS Examiner.

Image: TienThinhPhoto / Pixabay.


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