You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries and contributes a great deal to economies around the world. However, the damage tourism can cause to local cultures and the environment is often ignored.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
It is certainly true that, taken as a whole, the tourist industry generates huge sums of money for the global economy. Moreover, the local economies of resorts around the world are often dependent on the influx of visitors every year, particularly with regards to local employment. My own country welcomes huge numbers of overseas visitors annually, and a significant number of people are employed in the hotel industry as a result.
However, it is sometimes argued that a significant share of the money generated goes not to the local economy but to the multinational companies that supply the transport to and from the destination and the hotel chains and shopping outlets that offer hospitality to these visitors. Critics also point to the negative effect of tourism on local culture. The way of life of indigenous people can often be undermined by developments that prioritize the needs of the visiting tourist Finally there is the widespread effect of tourism on the environment. The arrival of huge numbers of tourists can be a drain on scarce local resources such as water, food and energy. Pollution, both through an increase in passenger flights and the local waste generated at the tourist destination, is another environmental concern. Then of course there is the physical impact on the landscape and ecosystem of large-scale construction.
Nonetheless, it is probably wrong to claim the problems are being ignored. The growth in sustainable tourism is evidence that people are aware of the impact they are having and are keen to contribute to a more positive experience, for themselves as well as for local people and the environment. As the market tends to determine how things develop, we can only hope that the demand for this form of responsible tourism continues to grow.