Visitors to Highlands County Spent $247.5 Million in 2021
A 17% increase over 2020 visitor spending
SEBRING, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2023) – According to new figures from VISIT FLORIDA, in 2021, visitors to Highlands County spent $247.5 million. This supported 9.8% of total jobs in the area.
The numbers come from VISIT FLORIDA’s recently released 2021 Economic Impact of Tourism report. Highlands County data shows that the destination fully recovered from the COVID pandemic during 2021 and showed a 17.1% increase in total visitor spend over 2020.
“Tourism is an important contributor to the Highlands County economy in terms of tax revenues, income and jobs,” said Casey Hartt, Visit Sebring/Highlands County Tourist Development Council’s (TDC) lead marketing consultant. “We are thrilled to see the 2021 numbers return to our pre-COVID 2019 figures, and we anticipate an increase in 2022 numbers as well. Visitation to the area has increased substantially since 2021, especially during off-season months when tourism dollars are needed in the area.”
In 2021, tourism in Highlands County generated an overall total of $272.5 million in total business sales that include direct, indirect and induced impacts, 3,866 jobs, $82.2 million in wages from those jobs and $23.1 million in state and local tax revenues.
For visitor spending by category, $71.5 million was spent on food and beverage, $52.5 million on lodging, $43 million on ground transportation, $42.6 million on entertainment/recreation and $37.9 million on shopping.
Visit Sebring is the destination marketing organization managed by the Highlands County Tourist Development Council (TDC). The mission of the TDC is to contribute to a positive quality of life for the residents of Highlands County through destination promotion, tourism development, advocacy, and resource management – which are foundation pieces for future economic growth. For more information, visit http://www.VisitSebring.com or find us on social media @VisitSebring.