Some time ago people travelled to foreign countries because they thought they would be different from home - the buildings, the food, the national dress.
Nowadays, however,one large city is like another. They all have their Hilton or Sheraton Hotels which look like Hilton or Sheraton Hotels everywhere. They all have their McDonald's and their Pizza Huts. Office buildings look the same everywhere, and most city centres are full of office buildings. And, of course, people are driving the same brands of Japanese or European cars, usually wearing the same kinds of clothing and watching - except for1 a few programmes - the same American films and TV shows. Airports are the same everywhere and the world's airlines are all flying the same aircraft, Boeings and Airbuses.
What, therefore, is the purpose of foreign travel for people who are not on business? What do tourists hope to experience in a foreign country that they cannot experience at home? Why travel to foreign countries at all? The answer could be that people are very interested in the past. It is a nation's history that is often its main attraction. Most of today's tourists travel overseas to find out what foreign countries and cultures used to be2 like, not what they are like today. The words 'cultural tourism' are now part of the language of tourism, and it is the museums and works of art in many countries that are their main attraction.
Many countries want to earn foreign currency so they try to attract visitors from other countries. These visitors spend money in the countries they visit: they have to pay for hotel rooms and meals, tours to places of interest, and all the things they buy to take home.
Most tourists want to know a number of things before they decide to visit a foreign country. Firstly, is the country safe? They want to feel that they can walk in the streets without being robbed. Secondly, and for many tourists of equal importance, they want to know if it is a healthy country. Tourists from many countries are used to3 clean water, clean streets and clean food. They do not want to risk catching a disease because the county they are visiting is not very clean or because it has insects that carry disease.
Thirdly, they want to know if there will be interesting things to see and do. Countries that attract the most tourists often do so because of their history. They have plenty of interesting places for tourists to visit.
Fourthly, tourists want to be sure that they will get value for money. Most tourists are not rich - they are ordinary people who have just enough money to have a holiday in a foreign country. They don't want to pay much for their holidays, particularly for hotels, food and drink.
Fifthly, tourists want to be understood. This means that there must be enough people in the tourist industry who speak English. This is not because most tourists are English: it is because English is the language people use when talking to someone whose own language they do not know.
Finally, tourists do not want to have to put up4 with rudeness from the people they meet. If the people of a country are rude, then even if that country is beautiful, rich in history, clean and healthy, and not expensive, many people will not want to visit it. Tourists want to be happy on holiday, and rudeness makes them unhappy. That is why a country such as Thailand attracts millions of people every year. They come mainly because of the friendliness of the Thai people. It is why the Pacific Islands are also so popular. There may not be much to see or do in Fiji, but there are lots of friendly, smiling people to make visitors feel welcome.
1 except for за исключением
2 used to be были когда-то
3 are used to привыкли
4 put up (with) миритьс€ (с), терпеть
experience испытать; узнать по опыту; испытывать
ќтветьте на вопросы
1. Why do many countries want to bring foreign visitors to their country?
2. Name two things tourists spend their money on.
3. Name two things foreign tourists are frightened of in foreign countries.
4. What kind of places of interest do tourists like to visit?
5. How popular is your country with tourists?
6. What could spoil (испортить) a holiday in your country?