ALL package tours to riot-stricken Indonesia are being cancelled this week under an agreement by travel agents yesterday. The Travel Industry Council (TIC) called an urgent meeting yesterday of more than 10 member agents which offer tours to Indonesia, hours after the SAR warned travellers to the country to be extra cautious. The meeting agreed travellers signed up for package tours departing from yesterday to May 16 could use their fares to join another package tour within six months, or choose another destination. 'We will meet early this week to decide on the arrangements for tours that depart after May 17, with reference to the situation in Indonesia,' said TIC executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung. Travellers can call the 1,200-member TIC's 2969-8188 hotline for more information. But the decision came too late for at least two package tours which left in the early afternoon yesterday. On one tour, only two members of the 14-strong group pulled out. 'I've been hoping to go on this trip. I am not worried so much . . . as I'm going to Bali, not Jakarta where there are riots,' one tourist said. Mr Tung said only one or two tours a day had been departing for Indonesia since haze and riots hit the country. The number of Hong Kong people heading for Indonesia fell 75 per cent from more than 12,000 in February last year to about 3,000 in the same month this year. Garuda Indonesia has reportedly cancelled no flights from Hong Kong to its home country as a result of the riots, but planes are understood to have been only 40 per cent full on average since last October. Indonesian officials said the number of visitors to the country fell 17.6 per cent in the first quarter of 1998. North Sumatra, which has witnessed the most violent unrest, suffered the biggest loss with a 53.2 per cent fall in arrivals. A Cathay Pacific spokesman said last night the passenger load to and from Indonesia had fallen since late last year because of the economic downturn, and continued to slide. Under the travel agents' agreement, travellers who choose cheaper destinations will not have the difference refunded, and most companies will not offer a full refund option. Mr Tung said agents had suffered losses themselves by cancelling bookings for accommodation and meals. 'We have been keeping a close eye on the development of the situation in Indonesia. We've not taken any action until now because most of the Hong Kong travellers are going to Bali where the situation is much quieter. 'As the Hong Kong Government has called on travellers to be cautious when going to the country, we've decided to cancel the tours for the sake of travellers' safety.' Association of Tourists' Rights chairman Chow Yick-hay said all travel agents should offer a full refund option as some people might not have holidays again in the next six months. Travel agents said their sales of package tours to Indonesia had plunged in the past six months. 'We recently offered a special price of $1,600 for a four-day package tour to Bali, but no one is interested even in asking about it. The price used to be about $4,000 in the past,' an agent said.