HAVANA (AP) — Cuba's state-run tourism industry is increasingly doing business with the country's new class of private entrepreneurs, trying to improve quality of food and lodging while maintaining a grip on the sector's biggest sources of foreign exchange.

One of the country's highest tourism officials provided new details on the initiative in an interview with The Associated Press, saying two dozen restaurants for tourists have been converted into worker-owned cooperatives since January. Jose Manuel Bisbe, president of state tour operator Havanatur, also said his firm was sending tourists to hundreds of private bed-and-breakfasts instead of government hotels.

"The state must free itself from activities that aren't decisive for the economy and that experience is showing function better privately," he told the AP on Thursday. He said that some tourism-related businesses like bus transport and large-scale hotels would remain in state hands...



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