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?
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Band 9 IELTS essay sample
Over the years, tourism has grown into a huge industry. Actually, it is the backbone of many economies. For example, tourism is the main source of revenue for countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Maldives. Some people, however, opine that tourism leads to tension between countries. While I agree with this statement to a certain extent, in my opinion this is not a problem that cannot be resolved.
Lack of understanding of cultures and traditions often leads to tension between tourists and locals. For example, most countries in the Middle East and South East Asia are conservative by nature. Middle Eastern countries in particular have strict codes of conduct and dressing. When tourists especially those from the liberal West visit these countries problems often arise. Locals expect the foreign visitors to follow their customs and traditions. Often times, the visitors simply do not care. There have even been many cases where the locals attacked tourists for disrespecting their culture. In the end, such unfortunate incidents lead to problems between the two countries. Hence, the argument that tourism leads to tension between countries certainly holds some water.
Even so, in my opinion, tourism also fosters understanding. Actually, this tension can be diffused by simply promoting a culture of understanding. Countries that receive a lot of international tourists should take the moral responsibility to teach their citizens about cultural differences. Locals should be taught that they cannot expect a foreigner to behave like them or to respect their customs as they do. At the same time, countries that send a lot of tourists to other countries should also sensitize their people about the importance of respecting the culture and traditions of the country they visit. These simple measures will solve most of the problems associated with tourism.
To conclude, tourism may create tension between countries when there is a lack of understanding about culture and traditions. However, nations can combat this issue by inculcating an attitude of tolerance and understanding in their citizens.
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