Palau is gearing up to partner with sports association in Taiwan to play host to a triathlon in 2019.

With the help of Taiwan Triathlon Association and the Palau Visitor’s Authority (PVA), sports federations here, the triathlon is eyed for February of 2019.

PVA Chairman of the Board Ngirai Tmetuchl said Palau is also looking into the development of sports tourism.

He said sports events like triathlon is a way to attract more tourism in Palau.

“We are hoping to do other sporting events in Palau from surfing tournaments, marathons, and triathlon,” Tmetuchl said.

On June 2, a delegation from the Taiwan Triathlon Association led by its president Liou Yuh-Feng visited to meet with members of the sports federations, PVA and lawmakers to work on bringing in the triathlon event in Palau.

Feng said Taiwan’s triathlon event brings in athletes from all around Asia- Japan, Philippines, and Thailand among others.

He said the triathlon is not only an event for athletes but also a family event with hundreds of people expected to descend on Palau.

He said that their association has years of experience and the network to help Palau run a successful triathlon, which attracts a lot of tourism to Taiwan.

“We hope to bring the experience in Taiwan to Palau,” Feng said.

Tmetuchl said that the Taiwan association is keen on sharing their technical expertise and knowledge of running successful triathlons to the sports federations in Palau.

Sports tourism is a growing niche market in Asia.

Tmeuchl said sporting events could generate more tourism and boost Palau’s profile as a travel destination.

Palau is diversifying its tourism, with its aim of tourism reset, it is tapping into the niche markets such as eco-based, cultural, sports, and weddings, and honeymoons market.

Visitors from Taiwan are Palau’s third key source of arrivals and PVA is eyeing sports exchanges to enhance arrivals from Taiwan. (Bernadette H. Carreon)