Write about the following topic:
In the past, people used to travel to see the differences from their home country. However, the sceneries in places around the world seem similar nowadays.
What are the causes of these similarities?
Do you think that the advantages of these similarities outweigh the disadvantages?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Sample Answer 1: [Viewpoint: It has more disadvantages]
Global tourism is enjoying an upsurge in popularity nowadays. However, this trend is accompanied by many complaints that similarities of the landscapes considerably reduce the delights and attractions of the travel. Globalisation, in my mind, is the greatest reason for the similarities. I also think that it has more disadvantages than benefits.
No doubt, globalisation unifies the world in many different aspects. Girls in Shanghai can be witnessed to have the same street look as those in Paris and Milan; KFC and Pizza Hut are popular in Bangkok as they are back in California; the amazing film “2012” was premiered internationally at the same moment. Tourist attractions cannot escape from this sweeping trend. Therefore, it is quite normal to hear comments from a tourist in Hong Kong, claiming that what he or she has seen is just the same as in Tokyo.
This phenomenon, to me, is a depressing one. People may have sacrificed too many of their cultural identities for this. Culture is our ancestors’ most treasurable heritage that is supposed to be passed on from generation to generation. It would be disastrous if people could only recall those busy shopping streets instead of the traditional lanes and houses after their trip to Vietnam. And I remember how frustrated I was when I found a lot of popular souvenirs in some foreign countries that could be bought back in Ho Chi Minh City — those delicate wooden sculptures really seemed far less appealing to me.
To conclude, since the trend of globalisation is inevitable, I suggest that both the government and the public make joint efforts in protecting and preserving their unique cultural features. Otherwise, global tourism would eventually turn to be boring and pointless.
[Written & Submitted by – Margaret Chang] [An example of a Band 8/9 essay sample]
Sample Answer 2: [Viewpoint: It has more advantages]
Our world has essentially become a global village, and it is only expected that things, including sceneries in different places, would look similar in one way or another. Contrary to many popular beliefs and suggestions, I think that these similarities carry more advantages than disadvantages, and this essay will explain why, as well as the reason behind such similarities.
Globalization is perhaps the single most contributing factor which makes cities look similar, makes western food common in distant Asian countries, and inspires Africans to wear dresses designed by European designers. For instance, the last time I travelled to Tokyo in Japan, a city that was supposed to be quite a contrast from London or New York, I could hardly believe that I was out of my homeland!
Of course, opponents to this trend would suggest that it has more disadvantages since they are not being able to see or experience anything “new” by investing their time and money. Some would also claim that in this way, they are losing the benefits of their unique cultural identities, and the privileges that are associated with them. But, if we look at the bigger picture, we will see that such similarities are actually bringing us closer to each other, by eliminating at least some of the misunderstandings among us, as well as some invisible, man-made, cultural “barriers”, we had, among each other. And when we have a sense of more “closeness” among us, we will try harder to cooperate with each other to eradicate poverty and suffering from our world, sooner rather than later. Here we can actually dare argue that if we had such “cooperation” among us in the past, we did not really need to deal with people like “Hitler” or “Genghis khan”.
In conclusion, we do not need some sceneries or popular landmarks to become symbols of “cultural and identity separation”, rather we want them to minimize the “difference” among us. And that is exactly what happens when we find places and sceneries to be similar to each other in different countries, even though its effects are not always visible and measurable.