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Describe a trip which was not up to your expectations

IELTS Cue Card Question 8 With Model Answer:

Describe a trip which was not up to your expectations.

You should say:
  • where you went
  • what you did
  • what happened
and explain why it was not up to your expectations.

[You will have to talk about the topic for 1 to 2 minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
A study tour is one of the best ways to make students learn about the real-life scenarios and issues. It is the best way to earn knowledge practically. During my college tenure, I went for a study tour in Agra in India to visit the Taj Mahal, one of the World Heritage sites of the world. Agra, located in Uttar Pradesh, is a great tourist spot in India and mostly famous across the globe for the legendary Taj Mahal.

We went to the spot for the purpose of learning about the structure and histories behind the beautiful marble made building and Mughal Empire in India. It is in fact, a tomb and made in the remembrance of the memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Located on the western bank of Yamuna River, the structure is the considered as the mausoleum of love.

We entered the compound following a queue and gazed amazingly towards the finest structure of the world. But some of the issues were unpleasant to me. First of all the colour of the building was faded and seemed a bit of yellowish too for the pollutions in the surrounding areas.

I thought that the surrounding locations will be clean and free from hawkers but the view was just opposite to my thought and it seemed that the ideas of a calm environment mocked me in the crowd. Most of the people were engaged in clicking their images instead of enjoying the beauty of the Taj. Moreover, the number of guides to help visit the area properly was inappropriate. The authority is taking a higher price for entrance tickets but not paying attention to make the compound clean and clear. I also expected that I might find Taj Mahal in its best state as the Indian government is taking care of the structure, but the care was limited by some signposts ignored by the visitors. People spat here and there, threw waste materials on the walking paths and some other similar activities made me frustrated.

Cue Card Answer 2:
Last year I went to visit Tower of London and it was a long and monotonous tour for me. I had to wait a couple of hours to barely catch a glimpse of the famous Crown Jewels. It was a study tour and our college authority decided to take us to the Tower of London as part of the yearly excursion. Tower of London is actually a Royal Palace and Fortress which is a historic castle situated on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.

The tour went wrong from the very beginning. One of our teachers got sick and he could not join us and my best buddy did not show up and I could not reach him on his cell phone. Some of the students complained about the proper planning of the tour as the number of students were far more than the available reserved seats on the train. The train arrived late and we had to wait in the station. Our lunch was delayed - not sure what was the reason and when we reached our destination, I was quite exhausted. Probably delayed lunch and unexpected rain caused this.

I waited in the long queue before I could see the main attraction – Crown Jewel and then I had to move very quickly as I was feeling the pressure from the back of the queue. The worst part of this tour was that the tour guide did not show up at all. We had to Google for some information regarding this place and got bored in less than an hour. At a time I was expecting to return home as soon as possible.

If I compare it with the other fascinating tour experiences I had, I must confess that it was far worse than my previous tours. That must have been a bad hair day – as many things went wrong and I had to return home with an overall bad experience though I had a very high expectation from this tour.


Idea Generation for this Cue Card /Candidate Task Card: 

This cue card asks you to describe any tour you had that you did not like. Maybe that was because of a bad journey experience you had or because you did not like the place you went to. It could also be for other reasons like your sudden sickness, hassle in the airport, bad weather, unprofessional service from the tour service provider, hostile behaviour of the local people, an accident on the road, unattractive destination and many more. Usually, you find a tour worse than your assumption when you cannot visit the place because it is not open that day, do not like the place or have any negative experience from that place. You should be able to remember such a journey or tour that went wrong and you wish that did not happen. Sometimes famous tourists destinations are overrated and you possess a very high expectation from your visit. In such cases, the reality strikes you hard and you feel that your experience of the tour does not meet your expectation at all.

Following are some other options to let you brainstorm for formulating a nice answer for this cue card topic:
  • A journey or tour that was ruined because your best friend did not show up. 
  • A tour to a place where people were hostile. 
  • A tour that was shattered by a natural calamity. 
  • A journey to a highly famous place but personally you did not find it attractive. 
  • A tour to a place where the environment was very noisy and dirty. 
  • A tour that you took because you were bound to take. 
  • A tour you took with some unfriendly people. 
  • A tour when one of your relatives became sick all of a sudden. 
  • A tour you went to when the main attraction was closed that day. 
  • A journey to a very remote place. 
  • A trip you took that took much longer time than usual. 
  • A trip to another country where you had a bad experience.  

Useful Vocabulary for describing this Cue Card:

  • Synonyms of 'Trip': Travel, Tour, Journey, Expedition, Excursion, Outing, Visit.
  • Synonyms of 'Expectation': Assumption, Supposition, Forecast, Prediction, Hope, Prospect.
  • Words to express your dissatisfaction: Frustrating, unhappy, disappointing, mediocre, unpleasant, unfriendly, unsatisfying, tiresome, bitter.  


Part 3: Details Discussion:

Q. What are some famous tourist spots in your country?
A. In my country, we have plenty of famous destinations. But the most famous tourist spots are: Cox's Bazar sea beach – the largest sea beach in the world in association with Saint Martin Island, Rangamati, Bandar ban, Sylhet and Dhaka city. Most of the tourists gather on the spots for the attractive locations and modern communication system.

Q. What are the impacts of tourism in your country?
A. Although the Bangladeshi economy is not tourism based, it has a notable impact on the economic growth of the country. The national economy increases and the local economy also receive a boost for the arrival of the tourists.

Q. What are the positive impacts of tourism in your country?
A. There are few positive impacts of tourism in the country. The most important issue is that the tourism board takes steps to make the locations attractive and thus the spots turn more beautiful. As the tourists regularly visit the places, it also creates employment for different people which help contribute to the national income. It is also beneficial in terms of cultural exchange and exposure to international level.

Q. What are the negative impacts of tourism in your country?
A. Unfortunately, some of the locals in the spots get engaged into misdeeds which defame the country and entirely unwanted. Such issues should be taken care of properly by the authority strictly. The tourism negatively affects the environment in some cases and the waste products in such areas are comparatively high. The foreign cultures also threaten some of our old and traditional ways of life.

Q. What do you think are the reasons people visit new places?
A. People mostly visit new places to get fascinated and learn something newerTravellingng increases the knowledge and also makes familiar with the culture and customs of different places. So, people who are willing to learn about newer customs and manners, they go for travel. The busy life we have often become monotonous and people often seek relaxation and relief from their stress. That’s another reason people travel to new places to refresh themselves.

Q. What can you tell about the future of tourism industry in your country?
A. Tourism future in Bangladesh has a great potential. The business could flourish if the minor problems are solved. Security is an important issue and if the safety and security of the tourists are ensured rightly, I think tourism will be a great source of income for the country.

Similar Cue card topics that you should be able to talk about with your preparation for this cue card: 
  1. Describe a recent trip or tour you have had.
  2. Describe a journey you remember well.
  3. Describe a place you have visited as a tourist.
  4. Describe a famous tourist spot in your country.
  5. Describe a journey you did not like.
  6. Describe a bad journey you have had.
  7. Describe a study tour or excursion you remember joining.
  8. An expedition you did not like.

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