The value for the Academy Awards swag bags has shot up to $220,000 this year — thanks, in part, to Israel.
Oscars gift bags for the nominees are enviable every year, as they heap gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars onto some of the few people who may be able to afford the indulgences themselves. This year’s bag is worth almost $100,000 more than in 2015 and includes Audi leases, lakeside hotel getaways, personal trainers, personalized M&Ms plus an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel, the Washington Post reports.
The Israel Tourism Ministry and the travel company ExploreIsrael.com gifted the $55,000 trips to the nominees for best actress, best actor, best supporting actress and best supporting actor (and they threw in a trip for host Chris Rock).
All can bring plus-ones to the 10-day travel pack, which includes first-class air travel into Tel-Aviv and, more importantly, “all the falafel you can eat.” The ministry has been working to attract high-profile visitors, and publicize Israel as a luxury destination rather than merely a conflict zone.
The swag bags regularly include trips abroad, but the trips do not usually have the potential of being politicized like free trips to Israel could be.
“These are the most senior people in the film industry in Hollywood and leading opinion-formers who we are interested in hosting here in Israel so that they will experience the country first hand and not through the media,” said Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin in a statement.
Los Angles-based Distinctive Assets released the estimate for the swag bag value this year.