IELTS Cue Card Sample 16 - Describe a foreign country you have never been to

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a foreign country you have never been to.

You should say:

  • where the country is
  • when you will go there
  • why you would like to go there

and explain why this is a good country to visit.

Follow-up Questions:
• Say something about the tourism development in your country, facility, services  and the effect on the environment.
• What is the importance of travel and tourism industry?
• What do you think the function of tourist guides?

Possible Answer:
The country that I have always wanted to go but have not visited yet is Italy. I've been dreaming of visiting Italy for more than 2-3 years. I'll definitely visit the country as soon as my graduation is complete.

Italy is in Southern Europe. Rome, the largest city and the Capital of Italy has been the leading political and religious centre of the western civilisation, serving as the capital of the both Roman Empire and the Christianity. I'd like to go there to see the museums, arts, streets, cultural and other attractions. Another reason I want to go there is to visit the Vatican City. I have read and heard about numerous stories and history about this country and witnessing them would be a great joy for me. There are plenty of things to see: arts, museums, Colosseum, Leaning Tower of Pissa, Roman Forum, Florence Cathedral, St. Peter's Basilica, Milan Cathedral, Sistine Chapel, Piazza SanMarco, Circus Maximus and lots of other places I'd love to visit.

Italy was one of the most advanced territories once and had lots of historically significant places to visit. I've read about those places so many times and heard stories from many of my friends that visiting this country has become a major wish for me. And I'm pretty positive about visiting this country in next year.

Tips for answering this cue card topic:

Think of a country you know about. Now say that this is the country you have never been to. In reality, you may have visited Vietnam, India, and Australia but have never been to Russia. But if you know very little about Russia, and say that you have never been to Russia, you would be in a difficult position to tell about this country. Rather you should pick a country you know about and the examiner is not going to check your passport if you have really been there or not!

State the face that you have read about this country, heard about this country and seen on TV about this country but have never been to. You MUST NOT pick your own country as an answer for this cue card.

Being able to state the following facts about the country you have never been to would help you answering this cue card topic:

  • The capital of the country.
  • The location of the country.
  • The religion, culture and population of the country.
  • Where have you heard or learned about this country?
  • If you have any plan to visit this country in the future. If so why would you like to go there?
  • What tourist attractions does this country have?
  • The cultural distinction of this country.
  • Some major festivals of this country.

Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q. Say something about the tourism development in your country, facility, services and the effect on the environment.
Answer: In my country tourism industry plays a fundamental role not only in the summer, peak hour for tourism but also in other seasons. I was born and raised in Greece so I would say that tourism constitutes an indispensable part of my country's economy. To begin, because of the renowned Greek islands, thousands of foreign visitors come here on vacation every summer and this results in reaping benefits in all levels. More precisely, many facilities such as airports, hospitals, hotels and restaurants have been constructed and they aren't beneficial only to visitors but also to locals. Many seasonal stores operate this period and in this way, more people get employed and acquire an income, the whole economy is developed and consequently the country prospers.

Apart from this beneficial part, though, there are some detrimental repercussions on the environment, due to the tremendous number of guests. Most people, dispose their rubbish wherever they want and because of this roads and pavements become really unsightly, smelly and unhygienic and this equals to damage of a place's landscape. In addition, during the constant usage of means of transport and especially planes, the CO2 emissions can cause air pollution which is harmful to the environment and public health, as it can cause respiratory diseases.

Tip: If your country is a tourist destination you can mention the things that are written above or anything else you desire. If this isn't the case, you can just say that your place isn't preferred by visitors and justify your answer in order to give a complete answer.

Q. What is the importance of travel and tourism industry?
Answer: It is widely accepted that tourism is an essential sector of a country’s economy and in this way numerous benefits can be gained. The most important contribution of travel and tourism could be argued that is in the economic sector. As mentioned previously, tourism provides employment and earning sources to many people. It also brings many facilities as well, not only to visitors but also to local inhabitants. By the construction of hotels, travel agencies, airlines, restaurants and other leisure industries which are used by the visitors a great amount of money is earned, and thus a country's GDP increases.

Moreover, except the direct results, there are some other indirect benefits that play a really important role to a nation's economic development. Given the fact that people can meet each other in person, international business relationships and profits like competitive advantage, economies of scale, higher exports and innovation could be derived. Lastly, investment can be encouraged as trade and investment are interdependent.

Q. What do you think the function of tourist guides?
Answer: A tour guide is a person who guides the visitors to explore different tourist attractions, explain the historic aspects of a place or a thing in the language of their choice. Guides help travellers to understand the culture of the region and the way of life its inhabitants and therefore, it is imperative that they are knowledgeable about the cities and countries where they work. Hence, they provide information on a country's culture, history, customs and heritage and they try to do their best in order for the foreign visitors to understand what they see in depth. Although it's relatively easy to become a tour guide in many parts of the world, in South Europe it's more difficult due to strict laws and it is regarded to be a unique profession with a great prestige.

[Speaking Part 3 answers are written by Mary, Economist & Business Consultant, UK]

Some other topics you should be able to answer if you prepare for this cue card topic:

1.  Describe a country you would like to visit in future.
2.  Talk about a country other than yours where one of your relatives live.
3.  Describe a country that has several tourists’ attractions.
4.  Describe a country other than yours.
5.  Describe a country which is a good tourist destination.
6.  Describe a nation you know about.
7.  Describe a nation other than yours.
8.  Talk about a nation you know about.

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