The topic below was seen in the Academic IELTS exam in the UK, March 2011.
General Training Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
The costs of international travel are decreasing and tourism is growing. What are the advantages and disadvantages of increasing tourism activity in different countries?
You should write at least 250 words.
Tourism is often touted as an industry that will never shrink in size. In other words, as the world develops, more and more people will be able to travel. Although many may see this as a positive phenomenon, it is not a trend without drawbacks. Both the advantages and disadvantages of this topic will be analyzed before a reasoned conclusion is reached.
On the one hand, the reduction in travel fare and the increasing of global tourism can be seen as a positive event as it promotes intercultural understanding and global harmony. For example, many Middle Eastern states have opened their doors and embraced tourism over the last twenty years and this has helped shed prejudiced views internationally that all Middle Eastern countries are dangerous. This development clearly shows the benefits of an increasing international tourism industry.
In addition to this, tourism creates new opportunities for trade. For example, many Chinese tourists are bringing back products from foreign countries that are currently unavailable in China. These new trade ties are great for the health of the entire global economy and can be seen as yet another positive ramification resulting from increased tourism.
On the other hand, the international tourism industry does pose some disadvantages. For one, money travelling into countries through tourism can lead to the establishment of some morally questionable activity. To name a few, tourist hotspots in developing countries are often rife with theft problems, maimed beggars and prostitution. The inflaming of these issues as a result of increased tourism is an obvious disadvantage to the growing global travel industry.
Following this analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of tourism and the falling travel prices that are making it more possible, it is felt tourism has more benefits than drawbacks. It is hoped the growth in global intercultural understanding continues uninterrupted as tourism increases.
This model answer was written for IELTS-Blog.com visitors by Ryan Higgins, an online IELTS instructor, blogger and author. For more of his free IELTS resources, visit his blog.
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Do the benefits of tourism outweigh the drawbacks?
Here are some ideas. I've organised the vocabulary according to different perspectives (different ways of looking at this issue).
Positives of tourism:
- Personal perspective: Tourism is a popular leisure activity. Tourists can relax, have fun, 'recharge their batteries', experience different customs and cultures (sight-seeing, sunbathing, visiting monuments, tasting new cuisine). Travel opens our minds. It can broaden our horizons.
- Economic perspective: The tourism industry is vital for some countries. People rely on tourism for their income. Tourism attracts investment from governments and companies. It creates employment due to demand for goods and services (hotels, entertainment etc.). It helps to improve the standard of living.
Negatives of tourism:
- Environmental perspective: Tourism can have a negative impact on the environment. Excessive building (roads, hotels etc.) destroys natural habitats and spoils the landscape. Tourism creates pollution and waste. It puts pressure on local resources such as food, water and energy.
- Economic perspective: Tourism may cause a rise in the cost of living. Prices of goods and services go up. Tourists buy second homes. All of this affects local people.
- Cultural perspective: Local traditions may be lost. Traditional jobs and skills die out (e.g. farming, fishing). Local people are forced to work in the tourist industry.
Thinking about topics from different perspectives can help you to generate better ideas. This technique isn't perfect for every topic, but it can be really useful.