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The Impact of Wilderness Tourism- IELTS Reading Answers

Updated on 21 December, 2022
Mrinal Mandal

Mrinal Mandal

Study Abroad Expert

The reading section consisting of several questions is one of the most vital parts of IELTS exam preparation. It tests a candidate’s wide range of reading skills, including reading for gist, main ideas, details, skimming, understanding logical arguments, and a writer’s attitude, opinion, and purpose. To achieve a better band score, a candidate requires numerous sample papers. For better understanding, preparing, and measuring your progress, here is a reading sample under the topic “The Impact of Wilderness Tourism.”

The Growth of Adventure Tourism and Its Effects on the Local Dwellers

A 
The market for tourism in remote areas is booming as never before. Countries all across the world are actively promoting their ‘wilderness’ regions mountains, Arctic lands, deserts, small islands and wetlands tourists. The attraction of these areas is obvious: by definition, wilderness tourism requires little or no initial investment. But that does not mean that there is no cost. As the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development recognizes these regions are fragile (i.e. highly vulnerable to abnormal pressures) not just in terms of their ecology, but also in terms of the culture of their inhabitants. The three most significant types of fragile environment in these respects, and also interms of the proportion of the Earth’s surface they cover, are deserts, mountains and Arctic areas. An important characteristic is their marked seasonality, with harsh conditions prevailing for many months each year. Consequently, most human activities, including tourism, are limited to quite clearly defined parts of the year.

Tourists are drawn to these regions by their natural landscape beauty and the unique cultures of their indigenous people. And poor governments in these isolated areas have welcomed the new breed of ‘adventure tourist’, grateful for the hard currency they bring. For several years now, tourism has been the prime source of foreign exchange in Nepal and Bhutan. Tourism is also a key element inthe economies of Arctic zones such as Lapland and Alaska and in desert areas such as Ayers Rock in Australia and Arizona’s Monument Valley. such as to high-spending.

B 
Once a location is established as a main tourist destination, the effects on the local community are profound. When hill-farmers, for example, can make more money in a few weeks working as porters for foreign trekkers than they can in a year working in their fields, it is not surprising that many of them give up their farm-work, which is thus left to other members of the family. In some hill-regions,this has led to a serious decline in farm output and a change in the local diet, because there is insufficient labour to maintain terraces and irrigation systems and tend to crops. The result has been that many people in these regions have turned to outside supplies of rice and other foods. In Arctic and desert societies, year-round survival has traditionally depended on hunting animals and fish and collecting fruit over a relatively short season. However, as some inhabitants become Involved in tourism, they no longer havetime to collect wild food; this has led to increasing dependence on bought food and stores. Tourism is not always the culprit behind such changes. All kinds of wage labour, or government handouts, tend to undermine traditional survival systems. Whatever the cause, the dilemma is always the same: what happens if these new, external sources of income dry up? 
The physical impact of visitors is another serious problem associated with the growth in acdventure tourism. Much attention has focused on erosion along major trails, but perhaps more important are the deforestation and impacts on water supplies arising from the need to provide tourists with cooked food and hot showers. In both mountains and deserts, slow-growing trees are often the main sources of fuel and water supplies may be limited or vulnerable to degradation through heavy use.

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C

Stories about the problems of tourism have become legion in the last few years. Yet it does not have to be a problem. Although tourism inevitably affects the region in which it takes place, the costs to these fragile environments and their local cultures can be minimized. Indeed, it can even be a vehicle for reinvigorating local cultures, as has happened with the Sherpas of Nepal’s Khumbu Valley and in some Alpine villages. And a growing number of adventure tourism operators are trying to ensure that their activities benefit the local population and environment over the long term. In the Swiss Alps, communities have decided that their future depends on integrating tourism more effectively with the local economy. Local concern about the rising number of second home developments in the Swiss Pays d’Enhautresuited in limits being imposed on their growth. There has also been arenaissance In communal cheese production In the area, providing the locals with a reliable source of income that does not depend on outsicde visitors. Many of the Arctic tourist destinations have been exploited by outside companies, who employ transient workers and repatriate most of the profits to their home base. But some Arctic communities are now operating tour businesses themselves, thereby ensuring that the benefits accrue locally. For instance, a native corporation In Alaska, employing local people, Is running an air tour from Anchorage to Kotzebue, where tourists eat Arctic food, walk on the tundra and watch local musicians and dancers.

Native people in the desert regions of the American Southwest have followed similar strategies, encouraging tourists to visit their pueblos and reservations to purchase high-quality handicrafts and artwork. The Acoma and San lldefonso pueblos have established highly profitable pottery businesses, while the Navajo and Hopi groups have been similarly successful with jewellery. Too many people living in fragile environments have lost control over their economies, their culture and their environment when tourism has penetrated their homelancis. Merely restricting tourism cannot be the solution to the imbalance, because people’s desire to see new places will not just disappear. Instead, communities in fragile environments must achieve greater control over tourism ventures in their regions, in order to balance their needs and aspirations with the demands of tourism. A growing number of communities are demonstrating that, with firm communal decision-making, this is possible. The critical question now is whether this can become the norm, rather than the exception.

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Questions 1-3

Tips/ Guidelines to Answer these Questions

The candidates need to identify the headings (given in lower-case Roman numerals) in this section. The heading refers to the main idea of a paragraph or section of the text. Candidates must find the equivalent heading to the correct paragraph (marked with alphabets). Candidates require writing the appropriate Roman numerals in the boxes on their sheet. Often there are some extra headings. 

Skimming is the best way to read and answer these questions. However, you need to understand every word here. Gather the gist of every sentence.

List of Headings

  1. The expansion of international tourism in recentyears
  2. How local communities can balance their ownneeds with the demands of wilderness tourism
  3. Fragile regions and the reasons for the expansionof tourism there
  4. Traditional methods of food-supply in fragileregions
  5. Some of the disruptive effects of wildernesstourism
  6. The economic benefits of mass tourism

Section A

Answer: iii

Explanation 

One can refer to the 7th line of section A, where the writer mentions about the regions that are fragile and how tourists are drawn to these fragile regions by their natural landscape beauty and the unique cultures of their indigenous people. And poor governments in these isolated areas have welcomed the new breed of ‘adventure tourist’, grateful for the hard currency they bring.” It indicates the reason for the expansion of tourism in these specific areas. 

Section B

Answer: v

Explanation

One can refer to lines 2-16 of Section B, where the writer mentions that hill farmers can make more money in a few weeks working as porters for foreign trekkers than they can in a year working in their field; this has led to increasing dependence on bought food and stores. The section explains how wilderness tourism negatively affected areas, including mountains, deserts, and arctic regions.

Section C

Answer: ii

Explanation

The lines 10-12 of section C defines how the local communities strive to balance their needs the increasing demands of wilderness tourism. The section also talks more about integration, where the writer says, “But some Arctic communities are now operating tour businesses themselves, thereby ensuring that the benefits accrue locally.”

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Questions 4-9

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3?
In boxes 27 -33 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE                 if the statement agrees with the information.

FALSE               if the statement contradicts the information.

NOT GIVEN    if there is no information on this.

4. Yes

No 

Not Given

The low financial cost of setting up wilderness tourism makes it attractive to many countries.

Answer: YES

Explanation

One can refer to the beginning of section A, where the writer mentions, “Countries all across the world are actively promoting their ‘wilderness’ regions mountains, Arctic lands, deserts, small islands, and wetlands tourists. The attraction of these areas is obvious: by definition, wilderness tourism requires little or no initial investment.” It indicates that people in these countries require minimum financing to sell wilderness tourism. Therefore, the answer is yes.

5. Yes

No 

Not Given

Deserts, mountains, and Arctic regions are examples of environments that are both ecologically and culturally fragile.

Answer: YES

Explanation

One can refer to lines 7-8 of Section A, where the writer mentions, “these regions are fragile (i.e., highly vulnerable to abnormal pressures) not just in terms of their ecology, but also in terms of the culture of their inhabitants.” From this, we can conclude that deserts, mountains, and Arctic regions are ecologically and culturally fragile regions.

6. Yes

No 

Not Given

Wilderness tourism operates throughout the year in fragile areas.

Answer: NO

Explanation

One can refer to lines 15-16 of section A, where the writer mentions, “Consequently, most human activities, including tourism, are limited to quite clearly defined parts of the year.” From these lines, one can conclude that tourism does not operate in fragile regions throughout the year.

7. Yes

No 

Not Given

The spread of tourism in certain hill regions has resulted in a fall in the amount of food produced locally.

Answer: YES

Explanation

Lines 2-8 of section B mention about several farming communities leaving their jobs of farming and shifting their business to pottery making for the tourists. It resulted in a reduction of food produced locally.

8. Yes

No 

Not Given

Traditional food-gathering in desert societies was distributed evenly over the year.

Answer: NO

Explanation

The writer, in lines 11-13 of section B mention about the year-round survival in Arctic and desert societies depend on hunting animals and fish and collecting fruit over a relatively short season. We, from this, can conclude that there is no even distribution of food gathering evenly over the year. 

9. Yes

No 

Not Given

Government handouts do more damage than tourism does to traditional patterns of food-gathering. 

Answer: NOT GIVEN

Explanation

We find the term “government handouts” in the middle of the second paragraph. However, the passage offers no comparison on whether these handouts are causing more damage to the patterns of food gathering than tourism. 

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Questions 10-13

Complete the table in one word. 

10. People/ Location:  Swiss Pays d’Enhault

Activity: Received Production of ….

Answer: Cheese 

Explanation

In section C, one can refer to these lines, where the writer says, “Local concern about the rising number of second home developments in the Swiss Pays d’Enhautresulted in limits being imposed on their growth. There has also been a renaissance in communal cheese production in the area, providing the locals with a reliable source of income that does not depend on outside visitors.” 

11. People/Location: Arctic Communities

Activity: Operate…… business 

Answer: tour/tourist/tourism

Explanation

One can refer to these lines in section C, where the writer says, “But some Arctic communities are now operating tour businesses themselves, thereby ensuring that the benefits accrue locally.” 

12. People Location: Acoma and San Ildefonso 

Activity: Produce and Sell…..

Answer: Pottery

Explanation

In the last paragraph of section C, the writer says, “The Acoma and San lldefonso pueblos have established highly profitable pottery businesses,…”

13. People/ Location: Navajo and Hopi 

Activity: Produce and Sell…. 

Answer: Jewelry

Explanation

The writer, in the last paragraph of section C, says, “…while the Navajo and Hopi groups have been similarly successful with jewellery.” 

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