US specialist Funway Holidays is striking out in a new direction with the launch of a far east programme.

Funway Far East product development director Melissa Tilling said the initial Funway Far East 2008/09 brochure, which is being sent to agents this week, will feature Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bali and Malaysia.

The programme has 125 properties and while it features suggested package holidays, each of them can tailored to meet individual requirements.

Tilling said the decision to launch the Asia programme was made due to agent demand and exprience of being a longhaul operator made it easier to it into its current longhaul programme.

She added: “We’ve been operating for 15 years and have developed a very positive relationship with the travel trade.

“As an operator you’ve got to play to your strengths, we don’t know short haul or medium haul but we do know long haul and for us to diversify into totally different stock would have been harder for us to do.”

Following the launch of the programme, it is hoped that mainland China, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Korea and Taiwan will all be added to the programme in time for the January peaks market.

Tilling added it is hoped the programme will also appeal to cost-conscious consumers due to the reduced rates the far east offers. Hotel prices lead in at £11 a night while transfers are available for as little as £3.