El Al Airlines hopes to draw winter travelers to Israel with an offer that includes L.A.-Tel Aviv airfare and a hotel stay, starting at $1,459 per person.
Tourism to Israel fell off this past summer after violent conflicts erupted in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. In July, U.S. airlines temporarily halted flights to Tel Aviv after a rocket hit near the airport. Last week's terrorist attack in Jerusalem that left five dead will also likely have a chilling effect.
Still, Israel remains a popular destination for Americans, who make up the largest number of foreign tourists. Last year, more than 3.5 million people visited the country, and 623,000 of them were from the U.S.
The deal: Why Israel and why now?
A spokeswoman says Israeli carrier El Al creates deals "to operate as a global airline and advance tourism, while further strengthening the U.S. and Israel ties, both economically and culturally."
The winter offer of $1,459 per person ($1,259 if you're flying from New York City) includes round-trip airfare and three nights in a deluxe room at the Carlton Tel Aviv. The hotel stay includes daily breakfast and access to the Royal Executive Lounge, an upgraded business center.
Those who want to fly business class can get the same offer from Los Angeles starting at $4,999 per person ($3,699 from New York City).
When: To get the deal, you must depart between Jan. 8 and Feb. 28, but you aren't tied to a return date. So with this offer you may stay a week, two weeks or more, subject to availability.
Tested: I called and found the starting price available with a Jan. 18 departure from L.A.
I went online and tallied up hotel and airfare for the same time period, excluding breakfast or business lounge access. Travelers save about $750 for two with this deal.
One last caveat: The U.S. State Department on Sept. 10 reissued a travel warning for Israel. It cautions Americans about "potential for violence and renewed hostilities" in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and selected areas.
It also says: "Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and their surrounding regions, are comparable to or better than those in other major global cities." If you plan to go, the State Department is a good source of up-to-date information about security in Israel.
Info: Call (800) 352-5786 or contact a travel agent to learn more about or to book the El Al airfare-hotel deal.