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Which verb is correct?

There are a growing number of tour operators.

There is a growing number of tour operators.
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Comments  (Page 4) 
Very clear information! Thank you, CalifJim!

Just one more question to make it even clearer.

If I saw a True or False Question. What should I check for each sentence?

( ) There is a growing number of people...

( ) There are a growing number of people...

Are both constructions acceptable?

Thank you once again!