Four years of dedication has paid off – at least for one city’s tourism website. After the San Francisco Travel Association began uploading daily posts to its Facebook, the tourism marketing organization has more than 500,000 “Likes” on its page. Most of the content features things to do and see in this scenic Bay Area city, but with an insider’s view that lends its conversational tone to participation from people visiting the page. For example, one recent piece asked users their opinion on the best places and most scenic spots in San Fran to snap photos.

Interestingly enough, however, the San Francisco Travel Association doesn’t solely focus on local topics. It has broadened talking points to include Hurricane Sandy, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and even the British royal family.

In fact, the day before Price William got married to Kate Middleton, the San Francisco Travel Association posted this humorous comment on its Facebook page: ”Dear London, We respectfully decline the invitation to the Royal Wedding tomorrow. We just have way too much going on here.”

It’s posts like these that resulted in thousands of “Likes” and comments from people around country, which confirmed that San Fran is not only a popular tourist destination, but a city with a certain spunk and spirit that people are drawn to, regardless of where they come from.

Other cities that have hundreds of thousands and even more than a million Facebook “Likes” include New York City with 11,200,300 fans, Chicago with 1,247,329 enthusiasts and Miami with more than 850,000 followers.

It’s obvious that the internet can be a great tool for the tourism industry. Not only does it give potential visitors ideas on where and why they should visit a certain place, but it also gives them insiders’ tips on what to do once they arrive.

By complementing engagement efforts like these with exposure-based targeted online advertising, you can raise the profile of your brand and have customers lining up for your travel packages, deals or insights.