IELTS Academic Reading Sample 35 - Tourism

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 28-41 which are based on Reading Passage 35 below.


A Tourism, holidaymaking and travel are these days more significant social phenomena than most commentators have considered. On the face of it there could not be a more trivial subject for a book. And indeed since social scientists have had considerable difficulty explaining weightier topics, such as work or politics, it might be thought that they would have great difficulties in accounting for more trivial phenomena such as holidaymaking. However, there are interesting parallels with the study of deviance. This involves the investigation of bizarre and idiosyncratic social practices which happen to be defined as deviant in some societies but not necessarily in others. The assumption is that the investigation of deviance can reveal interesting and significant aspects of normal societies. It could be said that a similar analysis can be applied to tourism.

B Tourism is a leisure activity which presupposes its opposite, namely regulated and organised work. It is one manifestation of how work and leisure are organised as separate and regulated spheres of social practice in modern societies. Indeed acting as a tourist is one of the defining characteristics of being ‘modern’ and the popular concept of tourism is that it is organised within particular places and occurs for regularised periods of time. Tourist relationships arise from a movement of people to, and their stay in, various destinations. This necessarily involves some movement, that is the journey, and a period of stay in a new place or places. ‘The journey and the stay’ are by definition outside the normal places of residence and work and are of a short term and temporary nature and there is a clear intention to return ‘home’ within a relatively short period of time.

C A substantial proportion of the population of modern societies engages in such tourist practices new socialised forms of provision have developed in order to cope with the mass character of the gazes of tourists as opposed to the individual character of travel. Places are chosen to be visited and be gazed upon because there is an anticipation especially through daydreaming and fantasy of intense pleasures, either on a different scale or involving different senses from those customarily encountered. Such anticipation is constructed and sustained through a variety of non-tourist practices such as films, TV literature, magazines records and videos which construct and reinforce this daydreaming.

D Tourists tend to visit features of landscape and townscape which separate them off from everyday experience. Such aspects are viewed because they are taken to be in some sense out of the ordinary. The viewing of these tourist sights often involves different forms of social patterning with a much greater sensitivity to visual elements of landscape or townscape than is normally found in everyday life. People linger over these sights in a way that they would not normally do in their home environment and the vision is objectified or captured through photographs postcards films and so on which enable the memory to be endlessly reproduced and recaptured.

E One of the earliest dissertations on the subject of tourism is Boorstins analysis of the pseudo event (1964) where he argues that contemporary. Americans cannot experience reality directly but thrive on pseudo events. Isolated from the host environment and the local people the mass tourist travels in guided groups and finds pleasure in inauthentic contrived attractions gullibly enjoying the pseudo events and disregarding the real world outside. Over time the images generated of different tourist sights come to constitute a closed self-perpetuating system of illusions which provide the tourist with the basis for selecting and evaluating potential places to visit. Such visits are made says Boorstin, within the environmental bubble of the familiar American style hotel which insulates the tourist from the strangeness of the host environment.

F To service the burgeoning tourist industry, an array of professionals has developed who attempt to reproduce ever-new objects for the tourist to look at. These objects or places are located in a complex and changing hierarchy. This depends upon the interplay between, on the one hand, competition between interests involved in the provision of such objects and, on the other hand changing class, gender, and generational distinctions of taste within the potential population of visitors. It has been said that to be a tourist is one of the characteristics of the modern experience. Not to go away is like not possessing a car or a nice house. Travel is a marker of status in modern societies and is also thought to be necessary for good health. The role of the professional, therefore, is to cater for the needs and tastes of the tourists in accordance with their class and overall expectations.

Questions 28-32
Raiding Passage 3 has 6 paragraphs (A-F).
Choose the most suitable heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below Write the appropriate numbers (i-ix) in boxes 28-32 on your answer sheet.
Paragraph D has been done for you as an example.

NB. There are more headings than paragraphs so you will not use all of them You may use any heading more than once.

              List of Headings

i     The politics of tourism

ii    The cost of tourism

iii   Justifying the study of tourism

iv   Tourism contrasted with travel

v    The essence of modern tourism

vi   Tourism versus leisure

vii  The artificiality of modern tourism

viii The role of modern tour guides

ix   Creating an alternative to the everyday experience

28   Paragraph  A
29   Paragraph  B
30   Paragraph  C

Example                                                               Answer  

Paragraph D                                                              ix               

31   Paragraph  E
32   Paragraph  F

Questions 33-37
Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in Reading Passage 35? In boxes 33-37 write :

         YES                if the statement agrees with the writer
         NO                 if the statement contradicts the writer
         NOT GIVEN  if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

33  Tourism is a trivial subject.
34  An analysis of deviance can act as a model for the analysis of tourism.
35  Tourists usually choose to travel overseas.
36  Tourists focus more on places they visit than those at home.
37  Tour operators try to cheat tourists.

Questions 38-41
Chose one phrase (A-H) from the list of phrases to complete each key point below. Write the
appropriate letters (A-H) in boxes 38-41 on your answer sheet.
The information in the completed sentences should be an accurate summary of points made
by the writer.

NB There are more phrases A-H than sentences so you will not use them all. You may use any phrase more than once.

38  Our concept of tourism arises from .......
39  The media can be used to enhance .......
40  People view tourist landscapes in a different way from .......
41  Group tours encourage participants to look at .......

                            List of Phrases

A  local people and their environment.

B  the expectations of tourists.

C  the phenomena of holidaymaking.

D  the distinction we make between holidays. work and leisure.

E  the individual character of travel.

F  places seen in everyday life.

G  photographs which recapture our

H  sights designed specially for tourists.


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1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.17 (12 Votes)


+1 # Hardik Gohil 2016-06-26 05:16
I want to get answers of reading test of 25/6/2016 Ahmadabad center. My test was well and I want to check answers of that test.
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0 # Marinda 2016-04-05 19:39
Dear mentor, I think there is a confusion! Q.29 should be 'vi' not 'v'. Q.30 should be 'v' not 'vi' Q.31 should be viii not vii. Q.30 should be vii not viii. Please explain for me if I am wrong. Best regards.
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-1 # W 2016-05-31 00:10
The answers the website has provided are right.
For instance Q.29 is not talking about tourism vs leisure, it says that tourism is a leisure activity which is distinguished from our normal working life. You can read the second sentence.
Q.30 you need to read the first sentence and pay attention to the last few words.

Q.31, This is the sentence you need to read I guess" Isolated from the host environment and the local people the mass tourist travels in guided groups and finds pleasure in inauthentic contrived attractions gullibly enjoying the pseudo events and disregarding the real world outside".
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0 # anonymous 2015-08-09 07:51
I think the answer for Q33 must be YES
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0 # Suhas 2015-09-21 15:33
Quoting anonymous:
I think the answer for Q33 must be YES

The answer for Q 33 is No because of the following statement in Para A , line two.
"On the face of it there could not be a more trivial subject for a book."
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0 # Ivan 2015-09-20 17:24
It should be yes. I content with you.
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0 # Yummy 2016-07-02 01:44
NO! the statement says 'on the face of it there could NOT be a more trivial subject'.
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0 # Mike 2015-06-09 15:29
I think the right answer is: Q38 - C
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-1 # sarrenn 2015-01-14 16:53
Academic reading samples are very helpful for me to visit. After reading it I get lots of information about the tourism department. I am interested in to visit and recently came back to enjoy the
yellowstone tour from san jose ca with my friend circle.
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+2 # worstmanz 2014-12-16 14:22
No punctuation in the passage!! Hard to read.
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+7 # Caitlyn 2014-05-14 16:34
Hi, Thanks for a great IELTS Website.
Is there any answer explanation part in this section? IELTS reading seems tough to me and the answers are sometimes confusing. I would be highly indebted if you can manage to explain the reason for the answers.

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