Tourists In Extreme Conditions – IELTS Advantages Disadvantages Sample Essay

Here is this week’s IELTS Model Essay. It’s an IELTS Advantages Disadvantages Essay on the topic of tourism to places with extreme conditions.

Today more and more tourists are visiting places where conditions are difficult, such as the Sahara Desert or the Antarctic.

What are the benefits and disadvantages for tourists who visit such places?

I think it’s a little difficult to generate ideas for this essay because it’s probably not an issue you’ve though much about. If you’re completely stuck for ideas when practising this essay, then learn from others: search the Internet for the benefits and drawbacks of visiting deserts, polar regions and high mountain ranges. Here, for example, are 9 reasons to travel to Antarctica.

visiting places where conditions are difficult Antarctic

My Plan

Step 1: Understanding The Task

What is the topic about?

Travel to places where “conditions” are difficult – it’s a bit vague, but the examples of the Sahara and Antarctica imply extreme temperatures and remoteness. I suppose other such places include high mountain ranges, the Arctic, other deserts.

What is the topic not about?

It’s not about travel generally: the topic is not the benefits and disadvantages of travel. It’s asking you about travel to remote places with extreme temperatures.

The question is asking you about benefits / disadvantages for tourists, so NOT the benefits / disadvantages to local people or the environment. What do tourists get out of the experience, and what is difficult for them?

How Should I Respond?

By answering the questions! Talk about the benefits / advantages, and the disadvantages.

Step 2: What is my Position

My position in this kind of question is my answer: what do I think are the benefits and disadvantages for tourists?

I think the main benefits are:

  • sense of adventure / sense of achievement
  • natural beauty

and the main disadvantages are:

  • it’s dangerous (there’s quite a lot I can say about this, so one disadvantage with plenty of examples is probably enough)

Step 3: Extend My Ideas

So let’s add more detail to these main ideas (in reality, Steps 2 and 3 may happen at the same time).

Benefits

  • sense of adventure /achievement
    • getting out of comfort zone, anything possible, sense of achievement
    • feel like an intrepid explorer (Lawrence of Arabia, Scott of the Antarctic)
  • natural beauty
    • natural landscape, sky at night, photography, wildlife

Disadvantages

  • dangerous
    • creatures in some places: snakes, scorpions, polar bears
    • extreme conditions = little margin for error – far from help (no nearby hospital), rely on people with you
    • supplies difficult so need enough water and food to survive
    • easy to get lost: few landmarks

Step 4: Structure Essay

A simple 4 paragraph essay is fine for this:

  • Paragraph 1: Introduce topic, introduce my response
  • Paragraph 2: Benefits
  • Paragraph 3: Disadvantages
  • Paragraph 4: Summary

visiting places where conditions are difficult - Sahara

My Essay

Today more and more tourists are visiting places where conditions are difficult, such as the Sahara desert or the Antarctic.

What are the benefits and disadvantages for tourists who visit such places?

People interested in travel are increasingly attracted to visiting remote destinations with extreme temperatures, such as deserts, high mountain ranges and polar regions. This essay will consider two main benefits of visiting these areas to travellers, as well as its dangers.

One of the obvious benefits of visiting extreme places is the combined feelings of achievement and adventure it fosters. Completing a successful trip to a harsh destination helps people believe that they can achieve anything; if they can survive extreme heat and danger, then navigating everyday life suddenly seems much easier. People also get to imagine themselves as intrepid explorers, roaming across sand dunes and glaciers, akin to Lawrence of Arabia or Scott of the Antarctic, and again, this can help them develop a great sense of personal power.

Another advantage is the stunning natural beauty of these regions. Even though they may have harsh climates, they can be staggeringly beautiful, with 360 degree views, untouched by civilization, stretching to the horizon, and awe-inspiring night skies. The natural wildlife of these destinations add to this sense of beauty, making them the perfect place for photography enthusiasts.

But there are significant dangers too. While the wildlife just mentioned can be amazing, they can be dangerous too. Desert-dwelling snakes and scorpions can kill, as can polar bears in the Arctic. And the extreme, remote conditions mean that there is little margin for error: if you have an accident, the nearest hospital could be days away and you are often totally reliant on a limited stock of food and water. It’s also very easy to get lost in these landscapes since there may be few landmarks to help you orient yourself. In short, you are highly dependent on yourself and your companions for survival.

To summarise, travel to extreme places can bring a huge sense of accomplishment to those brave enough to visit them, along with a spirit of adventure you rarely get in everyday life and exposure to breathtaking natural beauty. But the clear dangers of such destinations mean that you need to be alert and well-prepared at all times.

(349 words)

Band 9 Vocabulary

This essay uses a wide range of vocabulary in a natural way. This vocabulary also explains and illustrates my ideas in a very precise way. In particular, I use lots of phrases and collocations – groups of words. IELTS Examiners want to see groups of words like these in the higher bands.

  • people interested in travel
  • visiting remote destinations with extreme temperatures
  • high mountain ranges
  • two main benefits of visiting these areas
  • a harsh destination
  • navigating everyday life
  • intrepid explorers, roaming across sand dunes and glaciers
  • stunning natural beauty
  • untouched by civilization
  • stretching to the horizon
  • awe-inspiring night skies
  • little margin for error
  • totally reliant on a limited stock of food and water
  • few landmarks to help you orient yourself
  • highly dependent on yourself and your companions
  • alert and well-prepared at all times

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Charles Cornelius is a former IELTS Examiner with 25 years' teaching experience all over the world. He has worked for some of the major English language schools including International House, IDP and The British Council. He holds a MA in Education from the University of Bath. His courses, for both English language learners and teachers, have been taken by over 80,000 students in over 160 countries around the world.

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