About

Our gently rolling hills, orange groves and charming small towns make this a relaxing country getaway...

Discover the Sebring Area, Florida's Hidden Gem

The Heart of Florida…you will find Florida’s best-kept secrets, Sebring, Avon Park, and Lake Placid. Here in the center of the Sunshine State, you’ll find nearly 100 crystal clear lakes for fishing, boating, skiing, and sailing, and more than a dozen quality golf courses offering exceptional value. Our gently rolling hills, orange groves, and charming small towns make this a relaxing country getaway – and our central location provides easy access to Florida’s best attractions without the hustle and high prices of the major tourist areas. It’s the best of both worlds – within two hours of most major attractions yet removed enough to enjoy some relaxation. Come discover Highlands County for yourself!

Mission Statement:

To contribute to a positive quality of life for the residents of Highlands County (our customer) through destination promotion, development, advocacy, and resource management.

 

Visit Sebring

WHAT IS VISIT SEBRING?

Visit Sebring serves as a destination marketing organization that works to generate overnight stays, increase tax revenues, stimulate economic growth, and strives to constantly enhance the image of Highlands County. Visit Sebring is also commonly referred to as the Tourist Development Council (TDC) of the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners. Some of the functions of the Tourism Office include maintaining the tourism website VisitSebring.com, maintaining a database of tourism-related businesses, developing and maintaining strong relationships with tourism businesses in the community, lead fulfillment, participating in relevant associations and exhibitions at trade shows, travel expos, and conferences. Stated simply, the role of the Tourism Office is to promote and support tourism in Highlands County.

Staff

 

Visit Sebring Tourist Development Council (TDC)

WHAT IS THE TDC? The TDC was created pursuant to Highlands County Ordinance 17-18-13 and operates in accordance with Florida Statute 125.0104. The TDC administers funds collected from a tourist development tax on occupied transient lodging sales, i.e. hotels/motels, campgrounds, and other short-term lodging rentals. The funds are designated to promote Highlands County as a preferred visitor destination. The Highlands County Board of County Commissioners appoints the TDC members to four-year terms. The nine-member TDC is typically made up of one representative from the Board of County Commissioners, two municipal officials, 2-3 owners or operators of tourist accommodations (which are subject to the tax), and 2-3 members of the community who are not subject to the tax but have demonstrated an interest in tourism development. All applicants to serve on the Highlands County Tourist Development Council must be electors.

CONTACT / STAFF LIAISON:
Commissioner Christopher Campbell
Term Expires: Dec. 31, 2024

Chantel Brutus/ Staff Liaison
(863) 402-6909

MEMBERS:
Maria Sutherland / Avon Park City Council
Term Expires: 05/02/2022

Mark Stewart / Sebring City Council
Term Expires: 05/02/2022

Christine Hatfield / Inn on the Lakes
Term Expires: 05/02/2023

Bill Brantley / Lake Shore Resort
Term Expires: 05/02/2023

Diane Rydecki / Lake Blue Resort
Term Expires: 05/02/2021

Cynthia Garren / South Florida State College
Term Expires: 05/02/2023

Vicki Pontius / Highlands County Lakes
Term Expires: 05/02/2023

John Story / Sebring International Raceway
Term Expires: 05/02/2025

Highlands County Tourist Development Council

The Highlands County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications for membership on the Tourist Development Council. The Board will consider interested applicants from the following disciplines: Members of the council shall be persons who are involved in the tourist industry and who have demonstrated an interest in tourist development or shall be owners or operators of motels, hotels, recreational vehicle parks, or other tourist accommodations in the county and subject to the tax. We are currently seeking to fill the Accommodations position. Applicants must be owners or operators of motels, hotels, recreational vehicle parks, or other tourist accommodations in the county and subject to the tax.   The TDC meets quarterly at 8:15 a.m. and volunteers serve staggered 4-year terms. Applicants may submit an application on the County website at www.highlandsfl.gov or directly to cbrutus@highlandsfl.gov.

Tourist Development Council Meeting Schedule –2020-2021 Fiscal Year

  • April 29, 2021
  • August 05, 2021– present next FY budget
  • October 28, 2021

WHAT IS THE TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX?
The Tourist Development Tax (TDT) is a 4% tax on all transient accommodations in Sebring. You may also hear the TDT referred to as the Resort Tax, Bed Tax, Local Option Tourist Tax, Transient Rental Tax, etc. All of these terms refer to the 4% TDT tax, which is paid by tourists staying in the county for six (6) months or less.

DO I HAVE TO COLLECT THE TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX?
Your business is responsible for collecting and remitting this tax if you provide sleeping accommodations that are rented for six months or less (some exemptions apply), or if you have rentals longer than six months without a written lease.

Additional Information

For an overview of Tourist Development and the Tourist Development Tax in Sebring, use the Request-Info section.
Type-in Tourist Development in the “Additional Comments” section and we would be happy to send that information to you.

Economic and Tourism Development Reports 2017 – 2018

2018 Highlands County Economic Impact of Tourism

TDC Marketing Plan & Budget 2020-2021

2020 Tourism Insights Program  (recording)

2020 Sports Tourism Assessment Report

Strategic Plan

Downloadable Resources

Use the links below to download our Tourist Development Council (TDC) meeting minutes, a Board Member application, and Strategic Plan.

 

TDC MINUTES

 

1.23.20 Minutes
4.30.20 Minutes
7.23.20 Minutes
8.20.20 Minutes

10.29.20 Minutes

 

TDC COUNCIL MEMBER APPLICATION

 

Click here to download

If you would like to obtain TDC Minutes from previous years, please contact the TDC office regarding a public records request.

Event Marketing Grants

The TDC offers event grants as they recognize events and meetings as a major contributor to the overall tourism economy. These reimbursable funds are designated to promote Sebring as a preferred visitor destination and incentivize heads in beds through event hosting. To review the guidelines and application, please see the link below.

Grants

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