A Swiss consulting firm, Valmet International Limited, will spend $1m to draw up a comprehensive programme for the development of tourism in Armenia. The plan, due to be submitted in a year's time, will prioritise specific tourist sites in the country. The agreement grants Valmet the exclusive right to choose investors interested in developing Armenia's obsolete tourism infrastructure. In the late Soviet era roughly 800,000 tourists visited Armenia each year. The worsening economic situation and the Nagorny Karabakh war have reduced tourism to a trickle. The industry, trade and tourism ministry expects the number of foreign visitors to reach 45,000 this year, up from 13,000 in 1996. It hopes that foreign investment will help push the numbers as high as 300,000 by 2001.