“Since we were born in 2002 until today, what has changed in the active tourism world? We can say that people nowadays are more prepared; thanks to the Web they can access to a huge amount of information, tracks and news…For this reason, we had to improve the offer as well, and luckily the awareness of hotel managers and the dedicated infrastructures have increased”.
These are the words of Freddy Mair, founder of FunActive Tours (http://www.funactive.info/it/), travel agency specialized in outdoor sport holidays. Therefore, we have to start from him and some biographical note to understand this reality, that has its headquarter in Dobbiaco (Bolzano).
In Villabassa, in Hochpustertal (Bolzano), where Mair was born, between the peaks of Dolomites and woods, he used to ski in winter and ride bikes in summer, discovering and nurturing the passion for sports and the love for open-air life, in nature and among people.
In 1988, during his military service, he started to dedicate himself competitively to the mountain bike, being part of the sport group of Carabinieri Army.
Since then until 1998, when he left the competitive activity, he was selected many times in the Italian Team representative, taking part in the World Cup, winning several Italian Champion Title and conquering more than once the “Kenia Mtb Rally”.
In 1995 he took part at the first edition of the “Crocodile Trophy” (http://www.crocodile-trophy.com/) in Australia, ending the race as third. In the same year, he elaborated a track for a MTB race, 105 km long, with a difference in height of 3000 meters, in the heart of Monti Pallidi (Pale Mountains): therefore, on the 9th of July, the first edition of “Dolomites Superbike” takes place (http://www.dolomitisuperbike.com/it/home.html).
Over the years, it has become a very important event.
Mair leaves the competitiveness, but not the bicycle and its universe. In 1999, he started working in the cycling tourism branch, for a tour operator, with the charge of elaborating and organizing bike trips in Italy.
It is an experience that left such a mark, he started thinking of developing its own activity dedicated to cycling, active and outdoor tourism. Therefore, in 2002 he founded a company in his small town, giving it the name “FunActive Tours” starting to organize bike trips in Italy and Austria.
“We were born from the passion of bike - continues Mair - for the sensations and emotions that riding a bike transmits to our soul and body, when we want to discover something more of a land, its nature and people. We have specialized in cycling tourism by organizing individual or group trips for sportsmen, outdoor lovers, for those who look for cultural niches and food and wine specialties. And for families, of course, offering everybody a wellness holiday, with the chance to choose among different itineraries accessible to everyone, to be shared with the whole family, kids included”.
“We are therefore constantly oriented to the research and knowledge of the most significant territories suitable for this kind of tourism, as well as to the creation of particular services for every kind of cycling tourists, facing every request and need (mountain bike, street bike, race bike, e-bike, bike trekking..).
Moreover, the geographical and strategic position of our operative headquarter, in the province of Bolzano, in the heart of Europe, allows us to guarantee the best service to our local partners in different European Countries, thanks to which we can guarantee the most efficient assistance on the trip places.
The first tours elaborated and offered by the Agency were “The cycling path of Drava - from Bressanone to Villach”, “From the Dolomites to Venice” and “From the Dolomites to Garda Lake”. The offers reached the appreciation of cycling tourism market and, in 2003, thanks to the growing interest for bike trips, the action field was enlarged with the proposal of new tours in the whole Europe: Holland, Germany, France..
In addition to bike trips, FunActive now offers trekking (like “The Chestnuts Road”, “The Dolomites Natural Parks”) and winter holidays with cross-country skiing (like “Cross-Country Skiing - safari on the Dolomites”).
The branch of outdoor sport and wellness in general has been in constant growth for years, but what does our Country miss in order to respond to the requests of international tourism interested in this branch?
“Surely, the will to live a “to do” holiday is growing, rather than a “where to go” one -concludes Mair - The same recent economic crisis has pushed many families to this kind of activity, making them discover, in absence of the budget for intercontinental trips, the unbelievable beauties of ‘Belpaese’ and Europe, while riding a bike or during a hiking or a cross-country skiing trekking.”
“From the Italian point of view, infrastructures are still late: there is a lack of real cycling paths networks, the bike+train service and other similar are still considerably late respect to the European standards. But the sensibility of public administrations and tour operators has considerably improve, we are confident…”
FunActive Tours: http://www.funactive.info/it/