IELTS Topic Vocabulary: Tourism

Tourism is actually a sub-category under Multi-culturalism and Immigration, a popular topic in the IELTS exams. I posted a Writing Task 2 question recently which raised the issue of foreign tourists paying more than local tourists to visit attractions.

Most students will have ideas, and probably some experience (if they have traveled abroad) on this subject. Once you’ve got the structure of the essay (Intro – Body 1 – Body 2 – Conclusion), the next most important thing is to use topic-specific vocabulary to raise your band score.

Remember that if your grammatical accuracy is high, you’re already close to a band 7. From here on, it’s a matter of enhancing your vocabulary and using appropriate words and collocations in discussing the subject. So how can you build a good vocabulary?

For Writing Task 2 and Speaking Part 2 and 3, it’s useful to google the keywords in the questions and read related articles. For the question yesterday, I found this article which has excellent vocabulary that can be used in the IELTS exam. I’ve highlighted the most useful keywords and phrases below.

If you haven’t read it yet, please read the article before looking at my list of useful vocabulary. This will help you to retain the vocabulary better.

a massive debate

policy of charging tourists a massive rate higher than locals

I am of the belief that fleecing tourists is a tired game that can’t be sustainable unless that attraction really is worth the elevated rate of admission.  

tourists pay more at certain attractions

locations around the world

free market economy claims that if tourists are willing to pay a premium, then they should.  

maximize profits

trying to turn a profit.

the prevailing idea behind why tourists pay more is that it allows locals to visit sites in their own country rather than having them hijacked by foreign tourists

visit the museums without paying a premium

in developing nations

locals wouldn’t be able to enjoy their own parks and monuments if the prices were set too high

the average income of an Indonesian is about $3,000-4,000USD a year, and the average European might be somewhere around $50,000USD a year, the $20 to pay entry is about equivalent to what locals pay

separate local and foreign price

(foreigners are) being extorted OR, foreigners pay an extortionate amount

tourists can afford to pay more

set a bad precedent.

seen as racist or at the very least greedy

The charges make the assumption that all travellers are rich

many travellers are on a very tight budget

prices that are extremely high for tourists might also make these places inaccessible to them

people point out the fact that

an excuse for a rip-off

to rip off tourists



fees don’t cover the cost of maintaining the

It’s an interesting thought

the added cost


shocked and upset 

alternative models

drawing money from tourists

local or foreign


hassled by salespeople

nearly the whole time.

fostering global unity

It’s a country, person, or business’ right to charge whatever they want

Value is relative

the use of split pricing between foreign tourists and locals

You can use this vocabulary to practise writing an essay for this Writing Task 2 question.

So what do you think?

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