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 | Bali is not an eco-tourism destination – but plans are in place to drastically reduce marine plastic pollution

A recent study found that more than half of the Indonesian island’s waste is burned or dumped in waterways and the ocean.

26 Jun 2019 - 8:56AM

A recent study found that more than half of the Indonesian island’s waste is burned or dumped in waterways and the ocean.

Bali is not an eco-tourism destination – but plans are in place to drastically reduce marine plastic pollution
Destinations known | Could sex tourism save Japan’s small towns from disappearing?

The island nation received a record 31.2 million visitors last year, but few ventured off the well-beaten path. As rural areas are increasingly threatened by urban migration, might tourism offer a solution for struggling settlements?

19 Jun 2019 - 8:41AM

The island nation received a record 31.2 million visitors last year, but few ventured off the well-beaten path. As rural areas are increasingly threatened by urban migration, might tourism offer a solution for struggling settlements?

Could sex tourism save Japan’s small towns from disappearing?
Destinations known | Chinese tourists breaking rules ‘all over the place’ in Boracay

After a six-month closure, Boracay reopened in October with new rules that prohibit smoking, drinking, dining and littering on the beachfront. But the dos and don’ts seem to have escaped notice, especially among tourists from China and South Korea

12 Jun 2019 - 9:51AM

After a six-month closure, Boracay reopened in October with new rules that prohibit smoking, drinking, dining and littering on the beachfront. But the dos and don’ts seem to have escaped notice, especially among tourists from China and South Korea

Chinese tourists breaking rules ‘all over the place’ in Boracay
Lion Rock cable car was to become a major Hong Kong tourist attraction, but it never happened

In 1971, the government approved a proposal to install a cable-car system leading to the 495-metre peak, despite never being realised, the mountain remains popular with hikers and a symbol of Hongkongers’ ‘can-do’ attitude.

7 Jun 2019 - 8:30AM

In 1971, the government approved a proposal to install a cable-car system leading to the 495-metre peak, despite never being realised, the mountain remains popular with hikers and a symbol of Hongkongers’ ‘can-do’ attitude.

Lion Rock cable car was to become a major Hong Kong tourist attraction, but it never happened
Destinations known | ‘Flygskam’: what is ‘flight shame’ and should you be feeling it?

In Sweden, people are swapping planes for trains as a sense of shame spreads among those concerned about climate change.

5 Jun 2019 - 8:45AM

In Sweden, people are swapping planes for trains as a sense of shame spreads among those concerned about climate change.

‘Flygskam’: what is ‘flight shame’ and should you be feeling it?
Destinations known | When overtourism turns deadly – why Everest should be off-limits to casual climbers

At least 11 people have been reported dead or missing this climbing season, making it one of the deadliest in Everest’s history. Veteran mountaineers and guides point to overcrowding and an increase in inexperienced crowds as reasons behind rise in fatalities.

29 May 2019 - 5:00AM

At least 11 people have been reported dead or missing this climbing season, making it one of the deadliest in Everest’s history. Veteran mountaineers and guides point to overcrowding and an increase in inexperienced crowds as reasons behind rise in fatalities.

When overtourism turns deadly – why Everest should be off-limits to casual climbers
Destinations known | Thailand might have found the solution to Japan’s overtourism problem – replica theme park draws crowds

Hinoki Land near Chiang Mai offers tourists a taste of the Land of the Rising Sun without having to leave Southeast Asia.

22 May 2019 - 9:00AM

Hinoki Land near Chiang Mai offers tourists a taste of the Land of the Rising Sun without having to leave Southeast Asia.

Thailand might have found the solution to Japan’s overtourism problem – replica theme park draws crowds
Destinations known | Japan has a problem with politeness, and troublesome tourists are doing nothing to help

Visitors from afar pay little attention to polite requests asking them to refrain from eating while walking, which is a major no-no in polite Japanese society.

15 May 2019 - 8:30AM

Visitors from afar pay little attention to polite requests asking them to refrain from eating while walking, which is a major no-no in polite Japanese society.

Japan has a problem with politeness, and troublesome tourists are doing nothing to help
Destinations known | In China, Airbnb listings discriminate against Uygurs and other ethnic minority groups

The home-sharing platform has asserted that its mission is ‘to democratise travel by allowing anyone to belong anywhere’, but listings biased against Uygurs and Tibetans exist, in defiance of the company’s own non-discrimination policy.

16 May 2019 - 10:01AM

The home-sharing platform has asserted that its mission is ‘to democratise travel by allowing anyone to belong anywhere’, but listings biased against Uygurs and Tibetans exist, in defiance of the company’s own non-discrimination policy.

In China, Airbnb listings discriminate against Uygurs and other ethnic minority groups
Destinations known | How ‘the China tourism miracle’ has boomed over the past 20 years

Until 1997, Chinese travel was restricted to select countries and available only to those in positions of privilege. That 140 million overseas trips were made from the Middle Kingdom last year shows how far a nation can go in two decades.

1 May 2019 - 8:45AM

Until 1997, Chinese travel was restricted to select countries and available only to those in positions of privilege. That 140 million overseas trips were made from the Middle Kingdom last year shows how far a nation can go in two decades.

How ‘the China tourism miracle’ has boomed over the past 20 years
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 - 10:19AM

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?