IELTS essay, topic: In some cities the numbers of tourists seem overwhelming, why is this happening?
This is a model response to a Writing Task 2 topic from High Scorer’s Choice IELTS Practice Tests book series (reprinted with permission). This answer is close to IELTS Band 9.
Set 5 General Training book, Practice Test 23
Writing Task 2
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
In some cities, the numbers of tourists seem to be overwhelming. Why is this happening? What are the effects of this on individuals and society?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience.
You should write at least 250 words.
Sample Band 9 Essay
With the rise of cheaper airlines and with technology and affluence allowing people to travel more easily, tourism is an industry that has experienced a significant increase. This caused the numbers of tourists in some popular cities to become greater than desirable and created some effects on both individuals and society.
People feed on the positive experiences of others, and vivid images on social media, shared by happy holiday-makers, attract more and more visitors to iconic cities. This creates a snowball effect where increasing numbers of people cause an even bigger influx of tourism by sharing their experiences online. Affordable airfares and modern websites that make finding accommodation easier also play a significant role in making certain cities extremely attractive to tourists.
One positive effect of this phenomenon for both individuals and society is that it is an indicator that people are travelling to different countries. Travel is a great way to broaden the mind and develop more understanding and acceptance of other cultures and beliefs. Individuals will become more tolerant and society should be more integrated and peaceful. Another positive effect is that jobs and businesses are created and supported by the tourism industry, thus generating taxes to help support government infrastructures.
There are negative effects though, especially for the residents of the cities with high numbers of tourists. It is well known that excessive tourism dilutes the authentic culture of the destination, the prices go up and the quality of products and services goes down. The historic centres of too many popular cities now seem to only feature the same chain stores and services, and food tends to become more internationalised rather than offering the authentic food of the country and region. The centres of very busy tourist towns become overly geared towards providing accommodation for rent, whether it is hotels, hostels or private apartments. This reduces the amount of housing for locals, as well as driving up rental and purchase prices.
To sum up, tourism has many positive effects, but when the numbers of tourists get so high, it can spoil the authenticity of a destination, which is negative for local and visiting individuals and society as a whole.
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