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#24 - Columnist: On average, about 70 percent of the profit

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#22652
Question #24: Must, #%. The correct answer choice is (B)

The stimulus contains a series of observations about profits from tourism in the developing world. The information is quantitative in nature, so take a moment to understand precisely what the facts are:
• First, we are told that, on average, roughly 70% (i.e. most) of the profits from tourism go to foreign owners of tourist businesses.
• We also learn that the proportion of exported revenues increases as the country becomes a more established tourist destination—a positive correlation of sorts.
By combining these facts, we can infer that as the country becomes a more established tourist destination, over 70% of the profits from tourism will go to foreign owners. The author remarks that tourists can counteract this effect by buying local, but it’s unclear exactly how much of a difference that can make.

The question stem asks us to identify an answer choice that is supported by the information contained in the stimulus. Apply the Prove Test to eliminate any answer choice that cannot be proven by the stimulus.

Answer choice (A): While you may have strong feelings on this issue and wholeheartedly agree with the recommendation to buy locally produced good and services, such imperatives are difficult—if not impossible—to infer. The columnist’s statements are factual; the statement in answer choice (A) is normative (“should”). This alone is a sufficient reason to eliminate it.

Answer choice (B): This is the correct answer choice. If, on average, most of the profits from tourism in developing countries go to foreign owners, and this ratio increases as the country becomes a more established tourist destination, then there is no doubt that at least some of the countries that are most established as tourist destinations send the majority of their profits abroad. In fact, we can probably prove that most of them do that, but “at least some” is an even safer bet—we can easily prove “some” if we know “most.”

Answer choice (C): The fact that tourists can counteract this effect does not mean that they actually do, let alone obtain most of their accommodations and other services locally. This answer choice contains an exaggeration and is incorrect.

Answer choice (D): Just because most of the profits go abroad does not mean that the local residents are getting poorer. They can easily be getting richer, just not as rich as they would have gotten had the profits stayed in the country.

Answer choice (E): Another exaggerated answer. Yes, tourists who stay at local B&B’s probably do not contribute to the profits of foreign owners as much as they would have contributed if they stayed at the St. Regis. But, that does not mean that such tourists do not contribute to foreign profits in any way. This answer choice conflates a comparative claim with an absolute one. It is entirely possible that some of the tourism money being spent still goes to foreign owners of tourist businesses.

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