“Do you think they’re real?” A fellow tourist looked at me and asked, North Face soft shell in hand. I was wondering the same thing myself. “Goretex XCR” read the stitching on the cuff of the soft shell I decided to try on. “Summit Series” claimed the label on the right shoulder. And on the chest, of course, was the “North Face” logo, convincingly embroidered.
Global tourism has a sly way of turning non-tradable goods into tradable ones. With enough tourism, a city like Cochabamba Bolivia can essentially ‘export’ non-tradables like restaurant meals and haircuts by selling them to travelers who are buying with foreign currency that they’ve exchanged. The implications are many, but this is part of why global tourism is generally considered to be a positive thing for local economies.