For the past five years alone (and before then), getting a last-minute seat on an inbound flight from the US to Guyana during the Christmas season was a near impossibility, especially if you decide to travel into the country anywhere between the 20th to the 25th of December.
But for the first time in recent memory, a simple query has shown that seats are now widely available during that same period this year, on almost every airline that flies from the United States to Guyana.
Moreover, ticket prices have been holding steady, with some carriers offering the same low-ticket prices that were available for most of the year.
The reason for the reduced number of inbound ticket sales is based upon the fact that the usually large number of Guyanese who comes home each year does not seem to be making the trip home, this time around.
However, many travel agents were quick to point out that outbound seats for entire families from Guyana to New York during the December period are more in demand, as more Guyanese are now deciding to spend their holidays with family abroad instead of their relatives having to come here.
With more than a hundred thousand Guyanese believed to be in possession of a ten-year multiple entry visa, thanks to an Obama-era relaxation on the visa requirements for Guyanese, a larger number of locals, ranging from market vendors, to minibus conductors right through to security guards and elite job holders, can now travel to the United States, easily.
As a result, more visa holders are choosing to spend their dreamy winter Christmas in the US, rather than at home in Guyana. Hence the reason for many families in the United States now opting to welcome their relatives for a Christmas vacation there rather than them having to come here.
This change in holiday preferences has since resulted in a lower number of inbound ticket sales during the usual peak December Christmas period.
As such, airliners are widely expected to raise the prices for outbound tickets during December, and inbound tickets during January, since a larger number of holidaying Guyanese would most likely want to return from their US Christmas vacation between early January and mid-January 2018.
Several observers were quick to point out that if Guyanese should take their spending and holidaying abroad, as may seem to be the case this Christmas, there will be some serious economic fallout at a scale that may be too early to determine.