SEBRING, Fla. – Six months into the current fiscal year 2020-2021 (October 1, 2020-March 31, 2021), the latest revenue figures from the Florida Department of Revenue for Visit Sebring/Highlands County Tourist Development Council (TDC) show Tourist Development Tax (TDT) collections are not only back on track, but slightly outpacing collections from pre-pandemic levels. The TDT is a tax paid by visitors who stay in hotels or short-term rentals for six months or less. It is not paid by Highlands County residents.
Pre-pandemic collections in October 2018-March 2019 were at $644,479 and the same six months for current fiscal year 2020-2021 show collections at $653,370. Data shows that October 2020 and November 2020 collections were the highest ever recorded for those months, which is attributable to the GFNY cycling event in October and the re-scheduled 12 Hours of Sebring in November. March 2019 set a record high collection month with tourist tax revenues of $206,212, and March 2021 reported collections of $206,210.
“We are thrilled to see our six-month collection reports showing that tourism in our area is stronger than ever after the pandemic had a negative impact on TDT collections throughout most of 2020,” said Visit Sebring/Highlands County TDC Lead Marketing Consultant Casey Hartt. “The data is showing that revamping our Event Grant Program and focusing on recruiting new events to the destination is paying off and infusing tourism dollars into our local economy.”
Although collections have not yet been reported for April and May, the TDC is expecting strong collections figures to continue for the remainder of fiscal year 2020-2021 (ending September 30, 2021) in the following months:
· April due to three new sporting events: Prowatercross, American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and Minor League Golf Tournament
· May due to the new Sebring Multisport Festival
· June due to the Heartland Triathlon, which was cancelled last year
· July due to the Motosurf Games and Bono Bilt Youth Wrestling events, which are both new this year, as well as the Caladium Festival that was cancelled last year
For more information, call the Visit Sebring office at (863) 402-6909 or visit www.VisitSebring.com.