A large crowd takes in an Altoona Curve baseball game. Mirror file photo

Tourism continues to be a big business in Pennsylvania, and Blair County’s numbers continue to grow.

In 2017 — the latest numbers available — Pennsylvania welcomed 204 million visitors who spent $43.3 billion and supported 510,000 jobs, according to Michael Chapaloney, executive director of the Pennsylvania Tourism Office for the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

Travel and tourism spending has increased 27 percent over the past 10 years in Blair County, according to Mark Ickes, executive director of Explore Altoona, Blair County’s marketing organization.

Ickes is excited about the 2019 numbers from Smith Travel Research, the leading global provider of hotel statistics and analysis.

“We are exceeding the national

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