The Travel Industry Council yesterday wrote to its tour operators warning them to pay extra attention to safety measures for study tours to the mainland. Joseph Tung Yao-chung, the council's executive director, said the letter urged agencies to inform tour members about matters such as looking out for emergency exits and fire escapes in hotels where they were scheduled to stay. Agencies were also urged to hold seminars for tour members before departure. 'Honestly, the points we reiterated in the letter are not remarkably different from our guideline for ordinary tours,' Mr Tung said. 'I don't see there is any major difference between study tours and ordinary tours, though I appreciate some parents' concern that the members of study tours are relatively younger.' An Education Department spokesman said it had approached the schools attended by the two girls who died. 'Our education psychologists are ready to provide the students who joined the tour with counselling services when they return to Hong Kong,' he said. The spokesman added that the department had issued a guideline on schools' outdoor activities which was also applicable for exchange tours organised by schools. 'Teachers are advised to observe the environment where the activities are held and be vigilant of potential dangers,' he said. The department will help distribute guidelines to be drafted by the Travel Industry Council or Consumer Council on selecting study tours in the future to students, the spokesman added. Feng Huifang, spokeswoman for Henry International Travel, said one or two members of the tours who had witnessed the tragedy were considering withdrawing, but had not yet made up their minds. She said the company still had three study tours comprising 90 members to go to Beijing before the end of the summer holidays.