But the regulation, which started Tuesday, will see a short-term effect, with Chinese tourist arrivals probably declining.
Zero-dollar tours refer to cheap tour packages in which Chinese pay only a small amount of money to tour agents.
But when they are in Thailand, the tourists are pressured into buying overpriced products and accommodation or optional programmes they had not planned on joining.
Under the new Chinese regulation, Thai tour operators and their Chinese counterparts must stipulate the exact number of Chinese tourists travelling to the country.
All tour programme details and all expenses for Chinese tourists must be explicitly stated, and the tour packages can be paid for only in China.
Tour operators who violate the regulation are subject to a 300,000-yuan fine, or face licence revocation.
The move is a bid by the Chinese government to crack down on zero-dollar tour problems that have been occurring in both countries for a long time.
Kasien Wattanachaowisut, president of the Thai-Chinese Tourism Alliance Association (TCTA), said strict regulation of zero-dollar tours will increase the price of package tours and services for Chinese tourists by a wide range of 40-100%.
For example, tour packages to southern Thailand have already doubled to 6,000 yuan (30,600 baht), while programmes to northern Thailand have risen by 75% to 7,000 yuan.
The tour packages may be more expensive, but Chinese will be sure to receive the full tour service without being pressured into buying unwanted extras, said Mr Kasien.
''The high prices associated with the new regulation will have a psychological effect on Chinese tourists. But if they consider it carefully, the new amounts are the same or even less than what they ended up paying in the past when problems prevailed,'' said Mr Kasien.
In the first three months of enforcement of the new regulation, Chinese tourist arrivals in Thailand are expected to be halved.
Destinations that have only charter flights from China will see arrivals sink by 80%.
''But the situation should ease early next year,'' said Mr Kasien.
The TCTA still expects Chinese tourist arrivals will reach this year's projection of 4 million after 3.2 million landed in the first eight months.
Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, said the number of Chinese tourists arriving in tour groups will shrink to only 30% of previous levels in the next three months.
However, the new measure will not affect independent travellers, who represent 30% of Chinese tourists in Thailand.
Sansern Ngaorangsri, the Tourism Authority of Thailand's former deputy governor for Asia and the South Pacific, said the new policy will help to screen the quality of Chinese tourists, which is in line with the TAT's policy of boosting revenue from quality tourists.
The TAT now expects only 3.8 million Chinese tourists this year, down from its earlier projection of 4.2 million.
But revenue from these tourists will increase by 50% from last year, to 150 billion baht.
During China's Golden Week from Oct 1-7, Chinese tourists are still visiting Thailand as usual due to advance bookings.
Tourism and Sports Minister Somsak Pureesrisak said China's new zero-dollar tour policy may help to reduce crime against tourists, which has been on the rise for the past three years.