Several Hong Kong group tours to the US and one to Mexico, due to depart in the coming weeks, have been cancelled over fears of swine flu. The Travel Industry Council said after an emergency meeting with agents yesterday that it would be inappropriate to organise tours to Mexico. Its executive director, Joseph Tung Yao-chung, said few tours were bound for Mexico. Although the government had not issued a travel warning, Mr Tung said people should avoid the region. He said the council had reminded tour agents to alert their clients to the need for good personal hygiene. Agencies that cancelled tours should pay refunds and not impose extra charges, he said. Goldjoy Travel, the only agency with a Mexican tour due to leave, said it had scrapped the package. 'The tour group was to have flown to Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela in the middle of June, but we have abandoned it because of the epidemic,' Goldjoy's Roger Hong Kim-leung said. Mr Hong said he knew of only three agencies offering tours to Mexico. 'It is a very alternative route that a very limited number of Hong Kong people will choose.' The council and some travel agencies said they believed it was safe to travel to the United States, but two agencies had decided to cancel tours. Goldjoy scrapped six group tours involving about 40 people due to depart for the US next month. EGL Tours cancelled two in the same month, saying some destinations were close to Mexico. All who had joined the tours would get refunds, a spokesman for EGL said. He said that the next two months made up the peak period for travel to the US. Hong Thai Travel Service general manager Susanna Lau Mei-sze said US tours due to depart on Friday would go ahead. 'The places that we will visit are unaffected by the swine flu,' she said. 'But we will monitor the situation closely to see if any new arrangements have to be made.' Meanwhile, three universities with students studying in Mexico said they were healthy but would get help to return earlier than planned. Lingnan University has three exchange students at Monterrey Institute, the University of Hong Kong has a year-two student at Guadalajara Campus in the Tecnologico De Monterrey, while Chinese University has five students in Monterrey.