IELTS essay sample | Foreigners visiting cultural places should pay more
Foreign visitors should pay more than local visitors for visiting cultural and historical places. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
In many countries, foreign tourists visiting historic and cultural places are required to pay more than local tourists. Some support this; others are against it. In my opinion, asking foreigners to pay more is not ethical; however, it makes great commercial sense.
Tourism is a major business. In many countries it is the biggest earner of foreign exchange. So nations that have historic or cultural places that attract a large number of foreigners have every incentive to charge them more. For example, in India a local tourist can visit Taj Mahal for a negligible fee. A foreigner, on the other hand, is required to pay a considerably higher fee. There is yet another dimension to this. Foreign currency, especially the dollar, pound and euro, has higher purchasing power than currencies of other nations. Ten dollar means a lot when you convert that into Indian rupee, but it is not a big sum for an American. So, nobody is really complaining. By charging foreigners more, the government can also collect enough funds towards the maintenance of cultural and historic places.
While foreigners are only interested in the architectural or cultural value of a monument, a domestic traveler may have a deeper attachment to it. It could be much more than a tourist place to them. The Sun Temple at Konark attracts lots of foreigners who are primarily interested in its architectural brilliance. For an Indian, it is also a place of worship and if the government charges a higher entry fee it will amount to the violation of their right to worship. In addition, the smaller fee encourages more and more domestic tourists to explore their country. This fosters cultural understanding and instills in them a deeper respect and love for their mother country.
To conclude, charging foreigners more makes great economic sense. Locals, on the other hand, should be provided free or subsidized access to historic or cultural places.