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Debate Club

Sixth Form Debate Club

Tourism Benefits the World

October 18 2021

The sixth form debate on October 18th addressed the motion ‘Tourism benefits the world’; students arguing for the motion were Joe McLoughlin and Sebastian Fraiquin, and arguing against the motion were Jemima Oliver and Leon Keys (a big thank you to Leon for stepping in at the last minute!). The judging panel was made up by Kaia Darvill, Sophie Crossley-Hardeman, and Issy Regan-Poole.

In their speeches, Sebastian addressed the economic benefits of tourism, taking into consideration both developed and developing countries, and Joe talked about the importance of exploring different cultures. He also expanded on Sebastian’s point about the economy of developing nations. After questions from the judges, the two also explored the ecological side of the argument, explaining that in some cases tourism (albeit in substantial amounts) can overcome carbon emissions. Joe addressed a question from judge Sophie responding to a point he made about safaris, asking about the wellbeing and vulnerability of the animals in such situations. His rebuttal was that the areas in which they live are better protected and surveyed as tourism increases, as the business owners were able to afford better protection. Sebastian later answered a question from the audience regarding the dependence of the economy of developing nations on the tourism industry, arguing that the industry would allow these countries’ economies to eventually thrive independently.

Jemima largely addressed the idea of the loss of cultural identity due to the tourism industry, backed up by Leon who brought up the westernisation and sanitisation of cultures due to the tourism industry. Jemima went on to talk about the phenomenon of tourists ignoring cultural norms that did not align with their own, creating cultural tension. When questioned about the line between cultural appreciation versus cultural appropriation, Jemima reiterated the idea that tourism is less about sharing a true culture, and more to do with selling what the consumer will buy, leading to the sanitisation of these cultures. Later, Leon spoke about sustainability, and the lack thereof in the tourism industry. As a rebuttal to a point Joe made about ecologically friendly tourism becoming possible due to recent experimentation, Leon pointed out that eco-tourism accounts for only about 1% of the world’s tourism.

Both teams argued their perspectives skilfully, and, when under the pressure of questioning, consistently answered competently. The research both teams had done was evident and commendable. Although Jemima and Leon argued well, the judges named Joe and Sebastian the deserving winners of the debate.

Write up by August Shaw Year 13

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