Question: Nowadays, international tourism is the biggest industry in the world. Unfortunately, international tourism creates tension rather than understanding between people from different cultures. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Band 8+ Sample Answer:
(Intro) The unbridled popularity of international Tourism has left some people wondering whether this trend has created tension rather than understanding. I disagree, as although catering to foreign tourists can cause some frustration, this is outweighed by the opportunity for mutual appreciation.
(Body 1) Some suggest that large numbers of overseas visitors can dilute the native culture and annoy local residents. Firstly, businesses such as restaurants or tour companies often cater to the needs of foreign tourists by offering them a watered down version of local cuisine, or whistle-stop tours of historically important landmarks. This may not only anger the indigenous population, but also rob visitors of authentic experiences. Furthermore, a significant number of tourists are looking to let off steam, enjoying themselves noisily until the early hours, often with the help of cheap alcohol. Ultimately this may cause a disturbance to locals, and create an unwanted distraction for police.
(Body 2) Despite these issues, I believe travelling to other countries is the best way to gain a deep understanding. Of course there are a myriad of ways to learn, from national geographic to youtube vlogs. But this cannot compare to the direct personal experience which is gained from visiting yourself. Not only do you have countless chances to ‘break bread’ with locals and experience the culture firsthand, but most likely you will have researched beforehand, and got familiar with the local lingo and customs. This inevitably can remove deeply-rooted stereotypes. For example, before visiting Vietnam, many Americans view the country only in terms of the war between its nations, and are pleasantly surprised to learn about Vietnam’s diverse culture and welcoming people.
(Conclusion) To sum up, the potential risk of rising tensions cannot compare to the level of cultural awareness that comes from firsthand, personal experience. Personally, I look forward to the day when affordable low-carbon transport methods can allow everyone to enjoy international travel without a catastrophic impact on the environment. (316 words).
Words: Written by Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.
Image: fernandesdn123 / Pixabay.