Travel Destinations & Unconventional Tourism (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

Download the Travel & Tourism ESL lesson plan here: Travel-Tourism-ESL-UppIntermediate-20042012.doc

Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): Upper-Intermediate

A lesson plan on travel

Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): Warm-up (Pair Work)

1) Where are you planning to go for your next holiday?
2) Is there a place you’d never visit again? Where and why?
3) Do you prefer traveling independently or with a group on an organized tour?
4) What do you know of the following countries: Uganda, Myanmar, Ukraine, and Jordan?

Travel: The Top Four of Lonely Planet’s “Countries To Visit in 2012” List

1. Uganda – Stability is slowly returning to this African nation after dictatorships and civil war. Uganda is home to Kampala, one of Africa’s safest capitals. Tourists can also discover snow-capped mountains overlooking sprawling jungles, savannah bordering vast lakes, and the source of the Nile River. Wildlife, once hunted to near-extinction, is also returning. Tourists are cautioned that Uganda has little tolerance for homosexuality and travel to the northeastern parts of the country is ill-advised.
2. Myanmar (Burma) – Burma changed its boycott on independent travel in 2010. The country, bordered by mountains and white-sand beaches, now welcomes tourists. Timeless towns and countless pagodas can be found in the center among the Buddhist locals. Although the boycott is over, tourists should be cautious.
3. Ukraine – One glimpse at the glorious Old Town Kiev will be enough to make you forget the stereotypes you may have of this former communist country and home of Chernobyl. High among its attractions is Crimea – a region, linked by ferry to the port city of Odessa, for sun tanning and relaxing on the Black Sea amidst rugged mountains and ancient ruins. Beer in Ukraine is also cheaper than water.
4. Jordan – Jordan is more than the UNESCO World Heritage site Petra, a complete ancient city carved into a mountain from the 6th century BC. Jordan also boasts Wadi Rum, an elevated valley cut into stone in south Jordan, and the cities of Jerash and Madaba. Jordan, one of the most friendly and welcoming nations in the Middle East, has modernized while preserving its cherished traditions.

Travel: Unconventional Tourism

New kinds of tourism have been gaining interest and significance lately. One example is ecological tourism (eco-tourism); a responsible form of travel that aims to reduce the negative impact it has on pristine environments and indigenous communities. Also, space tourism is expected to become a billion dollar industry in the next decade. Virgin Atlantic plans to begin flights to space in 2013. (322 words)

Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
boast (verb)
cherish (verb)
  • sprawling – spreading in an untidy way
  • savanna(h) – a flat area covered with grass and few trees
  • ill-advised – unwise; imprudent
  • boycott – a ban on sth, usually made as a way of protest
  • timeless – not affected by the passing of time
  • pagoda – an Asian template that looks like a tower with several levels
  • glimpse – a quick look
  • boast (verb) – have sth impressive you can be proud of
  • cherish (verb) – adore; love
  • pristine – fresh and clean; in its original (good) condition
  • indigenous – native; aboriginal

Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
sprawling / cities
wildlife / savannah
ill-advised / travel
boycott / products
timeless / pagodas
boast / UNESCO
glimpse / pristine
cherish / memory
impact / indigenous


Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): Work Tourism Rankings (Group Work)

Which 10 countries do you think ranked highest in the world tourism rankings? Try to guess with a partner. (Answers (from 2010) on the bottom of next page.)

Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): The Foreign Visitor (Pair Work)

Option 1: A foreign VIP client of your company will visit from this Thursday to next Monday. Your boss has given you an unlimited budget to show your country to the client. Design the best itinerary you can for the visit.
Option 2: You met some friendly aliens on a recent space flight. You invited them to visit Earth sometime. Yesterday, they contacted you. They’d like you to give them a 5-day tour of your planet. Design the best itinerary you can. (Transportation will not be a problem as you can use their spacecraft.)

Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): Role-play #1

Student A:
You want to take your wife/husband on a trip this weekend. First, decide where you want to go. Then, phone your travel agent to reserve a plane ticket and hotel. Also, ask for recommendations of things to do there.
Student B:
You are a travel agent. Student A will soon phone you. Try to sell him/her one of the below travel packages. (He/she will tell you the destination.)
Option 1: round-trip, first class, $950. Hotel: Hilton, $250/night, *****
Option 2: round-trip, economy class, $310. Hotel: Doug’s Inn, $99/night, ***

Travel Lesson Plan ESL: Role-play #2

Student A:
You have just arrived at your hotel. Go to reception. Tell them you: 1) you have a reservation, 2) you want breakfast in the morning, and 3) you need to be woken up at 7am.
Student B:
You are a hotel receptionist. Welcome the guest to your hotel. Kindly tell him/her that there is a problem: you cannot find his/her reservation because of a computer system problem.

Travel Lesson Plan (ESL): Discussion Questions<

1)     Problems: What problems do tourists commonly have? What problems have you had when traveling?
2)     Airlines: Which do you prefer and which do you avoid?
3)     Nationalities: who are the best and worst tourists?
4)     What is the stereotype of people from your country?
5)     UNESCO: What UNESCO sites does your country have?
6)     “When in Rome do as the Romans do” ß do you believe in this saying?
7)     Cuisine: What unusual things have you eaten abroad?

2010 Tourism Ranking: France (76.8m), US, China, Spain, Italy, UK, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico (22.4m)

Travel & Tourism ESL Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of

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6 comments on “Travel Destinations & Unconventional Tourism (Upper-Intermediate ESL Lesson Plan)

  1. subaita khan (Posted on 12-15-2012 at 12:45) Reply

    Very evffective and interesting methedoligy but finding answers are difficult.

    1. mb Post author (Posted on 12-15-2012 at 13:46) Reply

      Hello Subaita. These lesson plans are mainly for teachers who need something to use in class. But, as a student, you can read the article and then do the vocabulary matching exercises above. You can also try to make sentences, but the website does not have a way to correct the sentences. If you want, you can also write your opinions here, in the comments section. Good luck with your studies.

  2. Marina (Posted on 1-28-2014 at 13:21) Reply

    Very informative and useful for lesson planning 

  3. xena (Posted on 4-6-2016 at 02:54) Reply

    Thank you for the great lesson plan. I converted it into a PDF file.

  4. Samal (Posted on 1-25-2017 at 11:50) Reply

    It took all my attention. Fantastic lesson plan. It was worth reading. Good luck then.

  5. K_Abdullo (Posted on 12-12-2019 at 11:01) Reply

    Thank u so much so productive lessons in the field of tourism

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