Paris-based Chinese travel agencies have criticised the Hong Kong Government for failing to remove visa barriers that strictly limit the visits of ethnic Chinese to the SAR. The heads of four influential Chinese-operated tour firms in the French capital said it was time for Hong Kong to act. An ethnic Chinese residents group presented a letter to Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa during his visit to Paris last week, pleading for him to take action. Sources said Mr Tung had promised to look into the issue after receiving the letter at a reception at the Chinese Embassy. The operators said visa arrangements for Chinese travellers with titre de voyages - a travel document for stateless French residents with no French citizenship - were unsatisfactory. Many holders of the document are refugees of Chinese origin who fled to France from Vietnam, Laos or the mainland for asylum. Applicants holding the documents are generally given visas which allow them to transit in Hong Kong twice for up to seven days each time within three months, they said. Marc Khamdy, general manager of C. F. A. de Voyages, said: 'Such a travel barrier has virtually become a disincentive for ethnic Chinese in France to travel to Hong Kong.' Sareth Chan, general manager of Chantours, said: 'Overseas Chinese from France have found the existing arrangements particularly inconvenient and annoying as they deter them from spending more time in Hong Kong.' Mr Khamdy urged Hong Kong to remove the barrier to prevent travellers from going elsewhere in Asia for holidays.