(This IELTS question taken from www.ielts-blog.com.)
Some people think that foreign visitors should be charged more than locals when they visit culture and tourist attractions in a country. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
It is difficult to name a major tourist attraction in the world that refrains from swelling the prices it offers to travelers. Indeed, this is perhaps a practice that has been exercised since the inception of the tourist industry. Despite its longevity, it is disagreed that foreigners to a country be charged more than locals when visiting major attractions. The merits of this argument will be shown by analyzing the its morality and overall economical feasibility.
Firstly, charging a person more money for a product or service simply because they are from another area is a form of prejudice and should be condemned as immoral. In China, for example, most people who are not Asian-looking are charged a premium for any purchase they make, regardless of whether they are a tourist or not. This shows how the practices of charging tourists inflated prices can spill over into even non-tourism related transactions. Most would agree that such a racially-motivated pricing scheme is morally unjust and thus the idea of charging tourists more than locals should not be supported.
Secondly, it should be remembered that it is in a country’s best interests economically to encourage repeat visitors and emigration by providing a pleasant experience for its tourists. For example, although tourist attractions in Dubai are expensive, they fit the pricey temperament of the entire city and thus do not leave a visitor feeling cheated. Coupled with the courtesy of the people and welcoming business climate, it is no wonder the United Arab Emirates boasts more foreign than local residents. This willingness of skilled foreigners to emigrate to a country can thus, in part, be attributed to the positive experience they have during their initial visit.
After looking at the immorality and economical ineffectiveness of inflating prices offered to tourists at major attractions, it has been proven that fair pricing is a superior policy. It is hoped the worldwide pricing inequalities between tourists and locals will be challenged.