Thailand’s government is considering a plan to charge foreigners an entry fee from next January, aiming to raise the quality of international tourists entering the country, according to Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong.

The plan was prepared and agreed by officials from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Public Health and the Royal Thai Police.

Under the scheme, international tourists will be charged 500 baht (16 USD) on passing Thailand’s border gates. Those entering the country by land and staying no more than three days will have to pay 30 baht (0.96 USD) a day.

Foreign travellers by air will have to pay 50 baht (1.6 USD) per day if they stay no more than three days.

Sitdiwat Cheevarattanaporn, Chairman of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (Atta), said the move is not in line with the Thai government’s plan to promote tourism and will affect the tourism industry both in the short and long-term.

The country is expected to receive 28 million foreign tourists next year, and may earn around 14 billion baht (450 million USD) from the proposed plan.-VNA