Norwegian mogul Petter Stordalen offered Tuesday to house Syrian and African refugees in his chain of hotels if they had not secured a spot in one of Norway’s asylum centers. Stordalen, who has made billions in the hotel business, first mentioned his proposal in a post to Twitter.
The mogul told a Norwegian news agency that the refugee crisis "concerns absolutely everyone," and added that he would also cover the meal costs for refugees who stay at his hotels. "We are offering 5,000 nights to refugees who need it," tweeted Stordalen, owner of the Nordic Choice Hotels chain. Norway’s Directorate of Immigration said it would consider the billionaire’s offer if its asylum centers reached capacity, the Agence France-Presse reported.
I @Nordic_Choice har vi en kultur for å bidra. Derfor gir vi nå 5000 gratis gjestedøgn til flyktninger som trenger det.
— Petter A. Stordalen (@petterstordalen) September 8, 2015
Norway received 2,313 asylum requests in August, the highest monthly number recorded since the 1990s, according to the AFP report. Most of them were Syrians, Eritreans and Afghans. Immigration officials expect the total number to reach 16,000 in 2015.
Stordalen isn’t the only mogul making pledges. Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, who is the chief executive of the telecommunications company Orascom TMT, said last week that he wanted to buy an island off the coast of Greece or Italy, where he would house refugees. He also announced his plan on Twitter.
Refugees have surged into Europe this year, traveling by bus and train to Austria, Hungary and other countries. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has estimated more than 300,000 people have arrived on Europe's eastern and southern borders since January 2015. There had been approximately 2,300 deaths among migrants trying to complete dangerous sea crossings from North Africa and the Middle East over the Mediterranean seas.