NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Business owners, travel and tourism professionals, and local economic development leaders are invited to attend the Deep East Texas Travel and Tourism Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3 in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Twilight Ballroom on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

A collaboration between faculty members at SFA and Tarleton State University, this conference is the first in a series of education and engagement sessions that are part of the larger Texas Forest Country Travel and Tourism Collective.

The collective is focused on enhancing the preparedness of the East Texas travel and tourism workforce, developing new travel packages to attract external guests to the region, improving existing travel and tourism practices and services, and strengthening and diversifying the regional economy. 

“We are expanding the travel and tourism conference we started last year beyond the deep East Texas region to include the Texas forest region, as well,” said Dr. Gina Fe Causin, SFA associate professor of human sciences. “This region includes all cities and counties from Port Arthur to Texarkana.”

The conference will include a student research showcase, legislative and other updates from regional tourism professionals, and a keynote presentation on the economic impact of tourism on rural communities.

“I am excited about our renewed focus on the Texas Forest Country area,” said Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards, TSU professor of communication. “Our small towns and cities will definitely benefit from the information and networking opportunities.”
Outreach efforts related to the conference are funded by SFA’s Center for Applied Research and Rural Innovation.
Register for the conference at
For more information, Causin at or Edwards at