Mercedes Hutton

Mercedes Hutton is an experienced lifestyle and travel journalist, who has written for various publications around the world. She joined the Post in 2018, where she covers travel and tourism in Asia in her weekly column, Destinations Known.
Mercedes Hutton
Mercedes Hutton is an experienced lifestyle and travel journalist, who has written for various publications around the world. She joined the Post in 2018, where she covers travel and tourism in Asia in her weekly column, Destinations Known.

Latest from Mercedes Hutton

Destinations known | Forget the Chinese and Australians, Instagram tourists are Bali’s worst visitors

Instagram tours taking travellers to the Island of the Gods’ most photogenic spots have become a popular way of seeing Bali, but the whistle-stop trips follow a well-trodden path and leave little time to take in the surroundings.

24 Apr 2019 - 10:23AM

Instagram tours taking travellers to the Island of the Gods’ most photogenic spots have become a popular way of seeing Bali, but the whistle-stop trips follow a well-trodden path and leave little time to take in the surroundings.

Forget the Chinese and Australians, Instagram tourists are Bali’s worst visitors
Destinations known | Solo female travel is on the rise, but is Asia safe for women who adventure alone?

After a German backpacker was raped and killed in Thailand and Chinese tourists complained of molestation in Malaysia, the safety of women who travel alone in the region has been called into question

17 Apr 2019 - 8:15AM

After a German backpacker was raped and killed in Thailand and Chinese tourists complained of molestation in Malaysia, the safety of women who travel alone in the region has been called into question

Solo female travel is on the rise, but is Asia safe for women who adventure alone?
Destinations known | The closure of Komodo National Park could be more damaging to environment than keeping it open

Environmentalists fear that closing the park could encourage those who rely on tourism for their livelihoods to turn to destructive fishing methods

10 Apr 2019 - 6:30PM

Environmentalists fear that closing the park could encourage those who rely on tourism for their livelihoods to turn to destructive fishing methods

The closure of Komodo National Park could be more damaging to environment than keeping it open
Destinations known | Is AirAsia promoting sex tourism with ad inviting passengers to ‘Get off in Thailand’?

In campaign for new Brisbane to Bangkok route, budget carrier seemed to equate disembarking from an aeroplane with sexual gratification. Activists argue Thailand’s sex tourism industry is no laughing matter, with sex workers particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses.

3 Apr 2019 - 10:18AM

In campaign for new Brisbane to Bangkok route, budget carrier seemed to equate disembarking from an aeroplane with sexual gratification. Activists argue Thailand’s sex tourism industry is no laughing matter, with sex workers particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses.

Is AirAsia promoting sex tourism with ad inviting passengers to ‘Get off in Thailand’?
Destinations known | How drones can ruin your holiday: the buzzing eyes in the sky are even more annoying than selfie sticks

The small unmanned aerial systems that revolutionised warfare also have the power to spoil your vacation, whether you are the pilot or not

27 Mar 2019 - 8:45AM

The small unmanned aerial systems that revolutionised warfare also have the power to spoil your vacation, whether you are the pilot or not

How drones can ruin your holiday: the buzzing eyes in the sky are even more annoying than selfie sticks
What happened on one of the ‘blackest’ days in Hong Kong’s professional horse racing history

Willy Kan was a rising star on the city’s horse racing circuit and became the first female jockey to ride in the Hong Kong Derby, but tragedy struck when a fatal fall put an end to her brief career

22 Mar 2019 - 5:42PM

Willy Kan was a rising star on the city’s horse racing circuit and became the first female jockey to ride in the Hong Kong Derby, but tragedy struck when a fatal fall put an end to her brief career

What happened on one of the ‘blackest’ days in Hong Kong’s professional horse racing history
Destinations known | Chinese and American tourists admit to stealing from hotel rooms, do you?

From toiletries and towels to mattresses and mini-fridges, certain guests take more than they are entitled to

20 Mar 2019 - 8:30AM

From toiletries and towels to mattresses and mini-fridges, certain guests take more than they are entitled to

Chinese and American tourists admit to stealing from hotel rooms, do you?
Boyzone’s Ronan Keating talks about 25 years in a boy band, the farewell tour and the modern music industry

Keating joined Boyzone at 16 and the boy band became one of the most successful ever selling more than 25 million records. Boyzone are calling in on Hong Kong on their farewell world tour.

16 Mar 2019 - 6:00PM

Keating joined Boyzone at 16 and the boy band became one of the most successful ever selling more than 25 million records. Boyzone are calling in on Hong Kong on their farewell world tour.

Boyzone’s Ronan Keating talks about 25 years in a boy band, the farewell tour and the modern music industry
Destinations known | Japanese attractions are refusing entry to tourists, and it’s easy to see why

As the Land of the Rising Sun prepares for its annual cherry blossom season, a number of attractions are refusing entry to visitors from overseas after repeated reports of bad behaviour

14 Mar 2019 - 10:00AM

As the Land of the Rising Sun prepares for its annual cherry blossom season, a number of attractions are refusing entry to visitors from overseas after repeated reports of bad behaviour

Japanese attractions are refusing entry to tourists, and it’s easy to see why
Destinations known | Hong Kong is not overcrowded, it is a victim of mass mainland Chinese tourism – and so are the visitors

Despite a survey saying mainland tourists would rather visit Australia, Japan or Singapore than Hong Kong, the city welcomed 51 million people across the border last year

6 Mar 2019 - 4:07PM

Despite a survey saying mainland tourists would rather visit Australia, Japan or Singapore than Hong Kong, the city welcomed 51 million people across the border last year

Hong Kong is not overcrowded, it is a victim of mass mainland Chinese tourism – and so are the visitors
Destinations known | Is social media to blame for unethical wildlife tourism? For Asia’s endangered animals, internet fame has a dark side
  • The social-media-fuelled experience economy has helped legitimise using exotic animals as selfie props, but environmental groups call for education to raise awareness of the ways these creatures are trained and treated
27 Feb 2019 - 6:04PM
  • The social-media-fuelled experience economy has helped legitimise using exotic animals as selfie props, but environmental groups call for education to raise awareness of the ways these creatures are trained and treated
Is social media to blame for unethical wildlife tourism? For Asia’s endangered animals, internet fame has a dark side
Destinations known | Porn free: Japan to take adult magazines off convenience-store shelves ahead of Tokyo Olympics
  • As the Land of the Rising Sun prepares for 40 million visitors in 2020, it is employing the philosophy of kaizen, or improvement, to show its best side
20 Feb 2019 - 5:25PM
  • As the Land of the Rising Sun prepares for 40 million visitors in 2020, it is employing the philosophy of kaizen, or improvement, to show its best side
Porn free: Japan to take adult  magazines off convenience-store shelves ahead of Tokyo Olympics
Destinations known | Thailand’s toxic smog: bad for tourism, good for the Department of Royal Rainmaking
  • Poor air quality, caused by weather patterns, vehicle emissions and the burning of crops and rubbish, threatens to affect visitor numbers
13 Feb 2019 - 8:31AM
  • Poor air quality, caused by weather patterns, vehicle emissions and the burning of crops and rubbish, threatens to affect visitor numbers
Thailand’s toxic smog: bad for tourism, good for the Department of Royal Rainmaking
Destinations known | The future of Komodo National Park hangs in the balance, caught between tourism industry and environmental concerns

Rampant poaching of deer, the prey of the park’s famous reptilian residents, has caused the large lizards to shrink in size, leading local authorities to push for year-long closure, but Indonesia’s central government resistant

7 Feb 2019 - 10:15AM

Rampant poaching of deer, the prey of the park’s famous reptilian residents, has caused the large lizards to shrink in size, leading local authorities to push for year-long closure, but Indonesia’s central government resistant

The future of Komodo National Park hangs in the balance, caught between tourism industry and environmental concerns
Destinations known | Why Lunar New Year is the worst time to travel in Asia – everyone else is doing it too

With more than 400 million Chinese hitting the roads, rails and skies, not to mention travellers from South Korea to Thailand, mass migration makes getting around the region miserable

30 Jan 2019 - 11:31AM

With more than 400 million Chinese hitting the roads, rails and skies, not to mention travellers from South Korea to Thailand, mass migration makes getting around the region miserable

Why Lunar New Year is the worst time to travel in Asia – everyone else is doing it too
The Datai Langkawi, where the rainforest meets the ocean – just beware of the monkeys

A US$60 million renovation artfully returns the Malaysian resort to its former splendour

26 Jan 2019 - 4:34PM

A US$60 million renovation artfully returns the Malaysian resort to its former splendour

The Datai Langkawi, where the rainforest meets the ocean – just beware of the monkeys
Destinations known | The doom boom: ‘Last-chance tourism’ causes more harm than good, and why travellers should stay away

Climate-minded travellers keen to experience a place before it is changed or gone forever are part of the problem, whether they acknowledge it or not

23 Jan 2019 - 9:26AM

Climate-minded travellers keen to experience a place before it is changed or gone forever are part of the problem, whether they acknowledge it or not

The doom boom: ‘Last-chance tourism’ causes more harm than good, and why travellers should stay away
Destinations known | Why Indian tourists are nothing like their Chinese counterparts, yet
  • Anticipating a slump in Chinese arrivals amid the trade war and economic slowdown, destinations in Asia are increasingly looking to Indian tourists to make up shortfall
16 Jan 2019 - 8:33AM
  • Anticipating a slump in Chinese arrivals amid the trade war and economic slowdown, destinations in Asia are increasingly looking to Indian tourists to make up shortfall
Why Indian tourists are nothing like their Chinese counterparts, yet
Destinations known | New airport for Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay puts the popular destination at extreme risk of overtourism
  • Improved infrastructure makes the Unesco World Heritage Site increasingly accessible, and subject to overtourism
9 Jan 2019 - 1:57PM
  • Improved infrastructure makes the Unesco World Heritage Site increasingly accessible, and subject to overtourism
New airport for Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay puts the popular destination at extreme risk of overtourism
Destinations known | The case of Taiwan’s missing Vietnamese tourists: honest error or human trafficking?

Only a few of the visitors from Vietnam who slipped away from their tour groups have been located

2 Jan 2019 - 8:47AM

Only a few of the visitors from Vietnam who slipped away from their tour groups have been located

The case of Taiwan’s missing Vietnamese tourists: honest error or human trafficking?
Destinations known | In outlawing orphanage trafficking, Australia exposes voluntourism’s great hypocrisy

In outlawing orphanage trafficking, Australia exposes voluntourism’s great hypocrisy

28 Dec 2018 - 8:31AM

In outlawing orphanage trafficking, Australia exposes voluntourism’s great hypocrisy

In outlawing orphanage trafficking, Australia exposes voluntourism’s great hypocrisy
Destinations known | Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey might be a terrible tech bro, but was he wrong to travel to Myanmar?

After tweeting about a recent visit to the country, the Silicon Valley executive faced a backlash from followers about ignoring the plight of the Rohingya Muslims

19 Dec 2018 - 8:33AM

After tweeting about a recent visit to the country, the Silicon Valley executive faced a backlash from followers about ignoring the plight of the Rohingya Muslims

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey might be a terrible tech bro, but was he wrong to travel to Myanmar?
Destinations known | Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands face drinking water crisis, and too many tourists are to blame

Plus, following Boracay’s six-month closure for rehabilitation, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte turns his gaze on El Nido, in Palawan

12 Dec 2018 - 10:49AM

Plus, following Boracay’s six-month closure for rehabilitation, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte turns his gaze on El Nido, in Palawan

Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands face drinking water crisis, and too many tourists are to blame
Destinations known | How women are changing the way Chinese tourists travel – financial independence sends females further afield

Ctrip statistics show that most of China’s coveted free independent travellers are female, echoing a global trend that is giving rise to women-only tours, resorts and even an island

5 Dec 2018 - 8:30AM

Ctrip statistics show that most of China’s coveted free independent travellers are female, echoing a global trend that is giving rise to women-only tours, resorts and even an island

How women are changing the way Chinese tourists travel – financial independence sends females further afield
Destinations known | Killing of US missionary John Allen Chau by Sentinelese exposes the main flaw of tribal tourism

Visiting a place to meet or observe its indigenous population for recreational reasons is an often exploitative and, at worst, perilous indulgence of our fascination with ‘the other’

28 Nov 2018 - 8:30AM

Visiting a place to meet or observe its indigenous population for recreational reasons is an often exploitative and, at worst, perilous indulgence of our fascination with ‘the other’

Killing of US missionary John Allen Chau by Sentinelese exposes the main flaw of tribal tourism
Destinations known | Is a ‘five-star’ luxury hotel experience possible in China? Hidden camera footage suggests not

After a video exposing crimes against cleaning at some of China’s top properties went viral, major hotel chains including Park Hyatt, Shangri-La and Waldorf Astoria have issued apologies

21 Nov 2018 - 12:25PM

After a video exposing crimes against cleaning at some of China’s top properties went viral, major hotel chains including Park Hyatt, Shangri-La and Waldorf Astoria have issued apologies

Is a ‘five-star’ luxury hotel experience possible in China? Hidden camera footage suggests not
Destinations known | Why Thailand needs Chinese tourists, waives visa fee in hope of enticing them back

As Thai airlines post substantial losses, in part because of a lack of visitors from China, the Land of Smiles is working hard to tempt more travellers to visit

14 Nov 2018 - 2:41PM

As Thai airlines post substantial losses, in part because of a lack of visitors from China, the Land of Smiles is working hard to tempt more travellers to visit

Why Thailand needs Chinese tourists, waives visa fee in hope of enticing them back
Destinations known | New Trump hotel in Bali draws attention to island’s impending water crisis, environmental impact of tourism industry

Developments, such as one bearing the American president’s name, can help draw attention to the ways the tourism sector is sucking the Indonesian island dry

7 Nov 2018 - 10:52AM

Developments, such as one bearing the American president’s name, can help draw attention to the ways the tourism sector is sucking the Indonesian island dry

New Trump hotel in Bali draws attention to island’s impending water crisis, environmental impact of tourism industry
Destinations known | Tourists behaving badly – why do some travellers conduct themselves differently on holiday?

Plus, surge in rubella cases in Japan prompts Hong Kong and US to issue a travel warning, especially for pregnant women

31 Oct 2018 - 10:02AM

Plus, surge in rubella cases in Japan prompts Hong Kong and US to issue a travel warning, especially for pregnant women

Tourists behaving badly – why do some travellers conduct themselves differently on holiday?
Destinations known | Overtourism in Kyoto reaches breaking point, with ‘half-naked hikers, trespassing travellers’ making life a misery for residents

The city’s residents have had enough of badly behaved visitors and officials agree that action must be taken to manage overtourism, but with Japan aiming for 40 million international arrivals by 2020, how can the situation improve?

24 Oct 2018 - 4:57AM

The city’s residents have had enough of badly behaved visitors and officials agree that action must be taken to manage overtourism, but with Japan aiming for 40 million international arrivals by 2020, how can the situation improve?

Overtourism in Kyoto reaches breaking point, with ‘half-naked hikers, trespassing travellers’ making life a misery for residents