LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Local businesses are feeling the impact after thousands of Japanese tourists are canceling travel plans to Southern California as the quake-ravaged nation struggles to recover from the biggest disaster in its history.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports says the economic fallout from the massive 7.0 quake and subsequent tsunami is beginning to hit Southland businesses.

One tourism official says the losses could be “significant and measurable” as revenues from Japanese travelers is set to plummet from the expected drop-off.

Charles Ahlers, president of the Anaheim Orange County Visitors Convention Bureau, warns that the impact may stretch beyond the tourism sector.

“It’s going to impact some hotel occupancy, certainly visitor spend [totals] is going to be impacted by it,” said Ahlers.

“Another angle that I think people really haven’t thought about are all the Japanese companies that exhibit in the trade shows that take place in Southern California,” added Ahlers.

The slowdown in revenue is also likely to further dampen hiring prospects for local companies even as the economic recovery gains traction.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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