IELTS® Listening Practice 54

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Listening Script Vocabulary

(Section 2: You will hear a tour guide talking to a group of visitors at the Castle Visitor Centre. First, you will have some time to look at questions 11 to 20 [20 seconds]. Listen carefully and answer questions 11 to 20.)

TG=Tour Guide

Thank you for coming along to the Castle Visitor Centre this morning. I do hope you’ll find the briefing session useful. If you have any questions about booking a guided tour with us or becoming a member, please feel free to ask them at the end if you are interested in booking or becoming a member. I’ll just start by telling you a little bit about the history of the Castle Visitor Centre.

Well, the Castle Visitor Centre actually opened 10 years ago but at that time we were quite a small organisation with just 3 tour guides working part-time in the summer months. Then, 5 years ago we added 2 new tour guides who spoke French, German and Italian as well as English because we found we had so many tourists from abroad. We grew quite rapidly after that and we’ve been offering tours in most European languages as well as Chinese and Arabic for the past 2 years.

If you book a tour with us, you’ll have a choice of 6 different types of tour ranging from 1 hour talks to overnight trips. In June, we have special tours of the city as well as the castle tours because the streets are still relatively quiet before the main tourist season begins. July is when tourist season proper begins, and that’s when we have the majority of our visitors booking tours. We start to wind down at the end of August as the new school year starts and the tourists begin to return home but we still have lots of tours going on throughout the whole month. Our last tour of the summer season runs on the 30th of August.

Now, many of our tours are suitable for families with young children but if you prefer to book them into the Kid’s Club while you enjoy your tour that’s also an option. You can book your children into the Kid’s Club for a maximum of 3 hours per day for free if you have bought a tour ticket. Rest assured that the staff are fully certified and have plenty of experience with children. The activities on offer include creative options such as drama and storytelling, which is very popular. We also have a lovely little art room with all kinds of supplies for painting and drawing that the children can access every day. In the afternoon, we sometimes do creative writing workshops and the children really enjoy those. I should also let you know that children who are booked in over lunch time need to bring a packed lunch with them as we don’t have a kitchen on the premises. You are welcome to pack snacks and drinks too but I must warn you that we have a ‘no sugar’ policy. Children under 5 years old are not allowed to bring any sugary drinks or snacks at all, and we ask that you only give water in a bottle to children under 3 years old. We are less strict with the kids over 8 and we allow them to bring fruit juice – so the ‘no sugar’ policy doesn’t really affect them - but still no fizzy drinks are allowed.

Now, a quick word about membership. It’s a good deal if you become a member as you receive cheaper entry tickets for the tours. If you would like to join the membership scheme you can just request this when you book your tour, and you will be charged the additional fee in the same transaction.

We do offer a loyalty scheme for our frequent visitors and there are added advantages if you recommend us to your friends and family members. Regular visitors will receive email updates about special offers on tours, and your friends and family can receive 10% off their tour, and will be entered into a prize draw to win a free tour! In return for your recommendation, we’ll send you a lovely T-shirt - you can choose the colour and size yourself.

As for the tours themselves, there are a couple of added extras that you may want to take advantage of. If you would like to borrow headphones to listen to the commentary in your own language, we have a supply and you can ask for these at the start of every tour. On every tour, you will be provided with a map with the itinerary and trail printed on it. If you would like to leave heavy bags and coat in a locker, just ask your tour guide for a locker key – they are free of charge. There is also a range of fantastic postcards and souvenirs from our tours and the locations they cover and you can purchase these from the information centre, along with our glossy brochures. Drinks and snacks are available from the vending machines near the information centre, and there is also a small café.

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