'Tourism guru' writes negative blog about Arizona

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PHOENIX - An already struggling tourism industry takes even another hit after a famed travel guru makes negative comments about Phoenix.

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UNCUT: AZ Office of Tourism Director - An UNCUT interview with Sherry Henry, the director of the Arizona Office of Tourism, who talks about some negative comments about our state.

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The claim is that Phoenix is not safe because of the gun laws in place for decades. You might know Arthur Frommer. Many consider him the guru of tourism. He gives travel suggestions and recommendations through his many books, seminars and through his website.

Thursday morning Frommer caused a few people to panic after recently saying in his blog, "Tourists should safeguard themselves by avoiding stays in Arizona."

Sherry Henry, with the Arizona Office of Tourism, says, "This is just like another, ugh, to the jaw for our industry." She is the executive director of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

It is an industry that she admits is in bad shape because of the economy and now she feels Frommer's comments might make things worse.

Henry adds, "This industry is already suffering from other clicks to the jaw and now this one comes totally out of left field over a subject that has nothing to do with tourism."

That subject has to do with a Phoenix man in the Valley being allowed to carry an assault rifle in public during President Obama's recent visit. It made national news, ultimately catching Formmer's attention, which then led to several negative comments about Phoenix in his blog like the following:

"I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks."

Frommer's comments are even more shocking because he is familiar with the area.

Sherry says, "It's a gentleman who's been to Arizona many times, visited Phoenix, was honored by the great Phoenix bureau last year at their annual dinner, I mean, so he's our friend."

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon is also concerned about the backlash of Frommer's blog and called this "so-called friend" hoping to convince him Phoenix is a safe place to be.

The mayor says, "He said that he would take my comments to heart and as an individual, he said he was only writing as an individual."