||Jordan, Alwyn (2003)
Travel credits are the cost of goods and services purchased by travellers who come to Barbados, while travel debits refer to the total value of goods and services purchased by Barbadian residents while overseas. Unlike travel credits, which are calculated based on information compiled by the Statistical Department and the Barbados Tourism Authority, travel debit information is not collected directly. Data on travel debits is derived mainly from foreign exchange sales to Barbadians for the purposes of holidays and business activities. This contrasts with other countries such as Canada where information for travel debits is obtained by questionnaire from residents returning from overseas. In the context of Barbados, estimates of expenditure by Barbadians are relatively small compared to travel credits, averaging approximately 13.6% from 1997-2002. Nevertheless, given the vital role that tourism net earnings play in the Balance of Payments, more accurate forecasts of travel debits would serve to provide better analysis of the expected net foreign exchange inflows from tourism. The paper therefore seeks to create a new framework for forecasting travel debits using a relatively new data series obtained from the Immigration Department of actual Barbadian travellers returning from trips overseas for the period 1997 to 2002, along with other variables which may influence travel debits.