NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Texas Rural Travel and Small Business Social Media Summit, co-sponsored by Stephen F. Austin State University’s School of Human Sciences, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Nov. 30 virtually via Zoom.

This free event will feature a session by Spencer Zamora, a graduate of SFA’s hospitality administration program, who is now with the state’s Travel Texas office. Zamora will focus on the importance of travel and tourism in the rural communities of Texas. Additional sessions will be led by tourism officials who will speak to the importance of tourism in the central and deep east parts of the state. 

Event organizer Dr. Gina Fe Causin, SFA associate professor of human sciences, said the benefits of the summit could be transformative for rural communities looking to boost their tourism profiles.

“At a social media conference, participants can get dozens of key insights that can have a massive impact in building relationships for attracting travelers to rural areas,” Causin said.

Summit co-organizers include Tarleton State University’s Rural Communication Institute, the Deep East Texas Travel and Tourism Collaborative, and the Texas Social Media Research Institute.

During an interactive session titled “Generating Travel and Tourism Ideas for the 4th Quarter,” attendees will be encouraged to develop ideas focused on their own county, city or small business. This session will feature innovative ideas for marketing and advertising during the holiday season for rural restaurants and bars, lodging establishments, stores, events, and festivals.

The summit is the outcome of the tourism collaborative’s project grant funded by SFA’s Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation. 

For more information, contact Causin at or Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards at To register for the event, visit