Some people believe that visitors to other countries should follow local customs and behaviour. Others think that the host country should welcome cultural differences.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Comments about the task:

  1. This is a both sides and opinion essay

Follow customs of locals

  1. Polite
  2. Less danger

Locals accepting visitors’ customs

  1. Rights of visitors
  2. Promote tourism

Model Answer:
Some people are calling into question how tourists should behave when they visit a new country. While some argue visitors should follow local customs and etiquette, others believe the host country should welcome other cultures with open arms. This essay will discuss both views, and then I will give my own perspective which is that the visitors should be embraced as guests.

On the one hand, there are people who claim that visitors should follow a host country’s customs. The main reason is that this shows respect and promotes understanding between people. If a visitor retains their country’s customs  and does not acclimate themselves into the new environment, then the locals might think they are inconsiderate, discourteous or odd and do not want to associate with them. In addition, it can be dangerous to not follow customs. For instance, the British drive on the left side of the road, so Americans must follow this when visiting the U.K. or they will have a traffic accident.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that locals should embrace other cultures. The main reason for this is that people should have a right to follow their own ways. They argue that no culture is better than another, and the host country has no right to oblige their visitors to behave like their own citizens. As well as this, the tourism of the host country will be enhanced by allowing visitors freedom to follow their own ways. For instance, many people do not visit certain countries due to strict dress codes and not being able to drink alcohol.

In conclusion, it’s my opinion that both arguments have their merits. On balance, however, I tend to believe that the host country should give their visitors a heart-warming welcome as it is at times difficult to change and adapt to new lifestyles when someone has only just arrived in a new country, whereas I feel that accepting differences is a lot easier for the hosts who are in the comfort of their own country. [340 words]

calling into question
etiquette = politeness
open arms = accepting
acclimate = get used to
inconsiderate = not considerate of others
discourteous = impolite
embrace other cultures=accepting of other cultures
strict dress codes = many rules about how people can dress themselves
heart-warming = friendly

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