NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Magazines around the world are naming Nashville a must visit city.
More than 14 million annual tourists have created a $6 billion tourism industry.
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is thanking those who go above and beyond to make visitors feel welcomed with an honor called the Hitmaker Award.
Brian Holwerda was recently awarded the Hitmaker honor.
He’s a guest services manager with the Omni Hotel downtown.
“The concierge is here for the end all, be all for any information you may need about the city or the hotel,” said Holwerda.
Holwerda was nominated for the award after a chance meeting.
“It was just someone passing through the lobby. I’m a big sports guy, so I saw an Oakland A’s hat across the way, and we were kind of slow so I made a bee-line over there,” said Holwerda.
The couple had recently moved to Nashville and stopped in the lobby of the Omni for a quick rest from sightseeing. At first, they thought Holwerda was kicking them out.
Instead of kicking them out, Holwerda made a connection with the couple and gave them tips on places to visit to really experience Nashville. He even surprised them with a voucher for free breakfast.
“It was just a good conversation, and we’ve kept in touch. They’re great people,” said Holwerda.
The couple that nominated Holwerda called him the epitome of hospitality, and Holwerda's boss agrees.
“He’s fabulous. I wish we had 675 more of him honestly,” said Omni Area Director Tod Roadarmel.
Roadarmel believes Holwerda and the 65,000 other Nashville hospitality workers are crucial to the industry.
In 2017, more than 40,000 hotel rooms were booked in the city.
That’s a record that also led to record tax revenue.
“You can’t come here, not just to the Omni, but to Nashville and not feel the energy here,” said Holwerda.
Holwerda loves Nashville, and he hopes to inspire that love in everyone who visits the city.
A Hitmaker is honored every month, and nomination forms are spread throughout hotels, restaurants, and other tourist attractions around town.
You can also nominate someone by clicking here.