IELTS Writing Sample #107
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
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 with this opinion?
You should write at least 250 words.
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
The growth of tourism and the numbers of people travelling to other countries
for their vacations has led to debate as to whether this is beneficial. I
believe that there are many problems which arise out of the tourist industry,
and will examine these in detail.
Many people argue that travel broadens the mind. However, this statement does not fully hold water. I would argue that spending a few weeks in another country is not long enough to gain a proper understanding of an alien culture. A foreigner visiting Britain might be met with the traditional British reserve, and mistakenly conclude that the British are unfriendly. Furthermore, some people are unwilling to open their minds. A Western traveller to an Arab country is unlikely to consider that the veiling of women is acceptable.
Being a tourist in a foreign country brings with it problems that can lead to dislike of the native people. Firstly, a foreigner is vulnerable, and is often ripped off by locals. Secondly, the language barrier can lead to misunderstandings. Thirdly, tourists are often hassled to buy goods, which can ruin a holiday. When I went to Bali, people tried to sell me something every five minutes, and this totally spoilt my sunbathing.
Local people also often end up disliking foreigners. Visitors may mistakenly act contrary to local norms, or they may just be plain offensive, as many drunken British holidaymakers must seem to the Spanish. Global tourism can lead to hostility from the native people, who may feel their traditional way of life is under threat. Additionally, the relative wealth of the foreign visitors can cause envy and resentment.
In conclusion, I would say that I largely agree with the argument that global tourism creates misunderstanding between people from different cultures, and that the differences are often a cause for conflict rather than celebration.