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, participation in relevant associations and exhibition at trade shows, travel expos, and conferences. Stated simply, the role of the Tourism Office is to promote and support tourism in Highlands County.
Leah Sauls, Development Services Director
Casey Hartt, Lead Marketing Consultant
Chantel Brutus, Administrative Assistant/Staff Liaison
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.
TDC Chair – Jim Brooks – Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
Municipal Official – Mark Stewart – City of Sebring
Municipal Official – Maria Sutherland – City of Avon Park
Accommodations – Christine Hatfield – Inn on the Lakes
Accommodations – Diane Rydecki – Lake Blue Resort
Accommodations – Bill Brantley – Lakeshore Resort
Tourism Interest – Tenille Drury-Smith – The Elliot Team
Tourism Interest – Vicki Pontius – Highlands County Lakes
Tourism Interest – Cynthia Garren – South Florida State College
Tourist Development Council Meeting Schedule –
Deadlines to submit any information/grants for a TDC meeting is 2 (TWO) weeks before the scheduled meeting by noon.
- 2020-2021 Fiscal Year
- October 29, 2020
- January 28, 2021
- April 29, 2021
- July 29, 2021– present next FY budget
Visit our Event Grant Program page to determine which grant application best suites your event & the guidelines for when your grant application shall be submitted.
Tourist Development Tax
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.
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
Use the links below to download our Tourist Development Council (TDC) meeting minutes, a Board Member application, and Strategic Plan.
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.