Sample Answer to Writing Task Two from the IELTS Test, June 22nd 2019 (Museums, Local/Foreign Visitors)

On Saturday, June 22nd, 2019, the following Task-Two Question appeared in the real IELTS test.

 Task 2

 Many historical sites and museums are mainly visited by foreign tourists, instead of local people.

 Why is this the case? What can be done to attract local people to visit these historical sites and museums?


Okay, we have yet another Discussion Question (that is, a question where you do not argue, but instead discuss or give your perspective on aspects to an issue).

If you check p.30 of my Writing Task Two book (3rd edition), you will see the recommended structure. We have to discuss the (A) causes and (B) solutions. We will use three body-paragraphs to the essay, which means doing a AAB or ABB.

Notice that there are no plural ‘s’s, which means we can use either structure. Pick the one you think is easy for you.

For me, I choose the AAB (=Cause 1, Cause 2, Solution 1) because I can immediately think of two causes (and not many solutions).

Here is the sample answer.

All large cities in the world are possessed with at least one major museum, and often a plethora* of others, yet, visits to these places would reveal they are mostly frequented* by foreigners, rather than those living locally. Thus, an analysis of the reasons, and suggestions to change this phenomenon*, is clearly warranted*.

One reason is that the locals are too engrossed* in the exigencies* of daily existence to care about, let alone waste precious time, visiting these places. Life is increasing harsh* and competitive, and almost all professionals are now committed to excessive* workloads as a matter of course. Compounding* this is the escalating* costs of residential* property and education, which are now millstones* around many people’s necks. Being so burdened*, locals sites are simply seen as irrelevant.  

Another reason locals ignore their own tourist attractions is the propensity* for the exotic* and exciting, rather than what is regarded as commonplace and dull. Sustained* time off from the everyday grind* can be rare, thus people want to maximise their rejuvenation* by purging* the old through an immersion* in the new – for example, the multiplicity* of sights and sounds in Paris, rather than the conventional vistas* of Hualien, or a plush* resort in Hawaii, compared to the blandness* of some domestic* stretch of sand.

One suggestion is for government to better promote local sites, not only by their intrinsic* worth, but also a patriotic* call to prioritise* one’s own country. Tourism is a huge money earner, and an appeal* to spend domestically* (thus generating more jobs and enhancing* general economic wellbeing for all) might well strike a chord* with the similarly afflicted* masses. Such initiatives* take place in many countries under different contexts* – for example, in political campaigns* – illustrating their resonance* and effect with the public at large.

[300 words]

The essay could end here. As I say to my class, a discussion essay has no need of a ‘conclusion’, since there is nothing meaningful to conclude.

If a conclusion is written, it must be …

  • short [two sentences only],
  • not repetitive,
  • meaningful.


Here is an example (of 37 words), following the model on p.103 of my Writing Task Two book (3rd edition).

Possible Conclusion (if time allows)

Although the promotion of domestic* attractions is easily achieved, overcoming the resistance towards sameness is not. Unless people can better realise the intricacies* and nuances* of their own history, a change for the better might not occur.

[337 words]


Word Learning Time

Now, use your dictionary to find the meaning of all the following words, then check how I used them in the sample answer (where they are marked with a *).

1 a plethora (n)
2 to frequent (v)
3 a phenomenon (n)
4 to be warranted (adj)
5 to be engrossed (n)
6 an exigency (n)
7 to be harsh (adj)
8 to be excessive (adj)
9 to compound (v)
10 to escalate (n)
11 residential (adj)
12 a millstone (n)
13 to be burdened (adj)
14 a propensity (n)
15 to be exotic (adj)
16 to be sustained (adj)
17 a grind (n)
18 a rejuvenation (n)
19 to purge (v)
20 an immersion (n)
21 a multiplicity (n)
22 a vista (n)
23 to be plush (adj)
24 to be bland (adj)
25 domestic (adj)
26 intrinsic (adj)
27 to be patriotic (adj)
28 to prioritise (v)
29 an appeal (n)
30 to enhance (v)
31 to strike a chord (v)
32 to be afflicted (adj)
33 an initiative (n)
34 a context (n)
35 a campaign (n)
36 a resonance (n)
37 an intricacy (n)
38 a nuance (n)


I hope all this helps, and good luck with the IELTS test.