SBS Analysis: The Possible Impact of Brexit on Greek Tourism

Greece is bracing itself for the impact of Brexit on tourism numbers in 2017. In 2015 some 2.4 million British citizens visited Greece, up from 1.7 million in 2011. Just over 900,000 British citizens visited Greece in the first six months of 2016, up by over 13 per cent over the same period of 2015, and representing 12.5 per cent of all visitors to Greece.

Visitors from Germany form the largest group with 2.8 million visitors in 2015, up from 2.2 million in 2011. Yet in the first six months of 2016, Germany just fell behind the UK with 888,000 visitors, a modest increase of 0.8 per cent over the same period of 2015, but still representing 11.9 per cent of all visitors to Greece.

© David Gill

Most British tourists stay in Greece for at least six nights, and Germans for seven. In contrast visitors from France and Italy only tend to stay for four nights on average. The most recent value per ‘tourist night’ in Greece is $316; British tourists tend to spend more than this ‘average’.

This suggests that UK tourists were worth at least some $757 million (700 million Euros) to the Greek economy in 2015, and some estimates have suggested that it was worth as much as 2 billion Euros. The projection for 2016 is just under $800 million.

However, the fall in the value of the pound against the Euro will make holidays in Europe in 2017 considerably more expensive for British tourists. A fall of 10 per cent of British visitors will hit the Greek tourist industry with a loss of around $70 million. In such a market, hotels and holiday lets in Greece may be forced to accept lower prices or risk having empty properties with no income.

Athens, photograph © David Gill


A holiday in the UK may not be a cheap alternative. The fall in the pound is likely to make Britain an increasingly ‘cheap’ destination, and UK accommodation will be at a premium. And the destabilisation of the wider European economy due to Brexit may discourage some European visitors from taking their holidays in Greece.

Professor David Gill is Director of the Heritage Futures research unit in the Suffolk Business School.

Professor Gills presentation on “Heritage and austerity: UNESCO World Heritage sites, tourism and Greece” is available on


Leadership in an Uncertain World


“It is just not possible to set the criteria for what makes a good leader”.

Dr Tom Vine, EMBA and MBA Course Leader, was at his academic best at the second University of Suffolk Executive MBA Mini Masterclasses. Today, there is a great deal of focus on leadership, and in times of crisis there are often calls for strong leadership. From the Premier League to Brexit, strong leadership is vital to bring about success after adversity. However – and this is big – when you look at the wider picture of our leaders, even strong ones are largely ineffectual. The UK has an economic lead in the Exchequer, however their ability to have a meaningful impact on the economy is relatively non-existent. Really, a leader only controls staff, and even this is only to a point. Political, Economic, Social, Technological (PEST) factors (which can be extended to include Legal and Environmental) all exert control on an organisation as it is part of a system. Moreover, it is part of a chaotic system and there is a need to recognise this.

Figure 1
PEST Analysis, courtesy of Dr Tom Vine

None of this, however, means that leaders are a waste of time; our expectations of them perhaps just need to be redefined.  What’s more our understanding of followers needs to be enhanced. ‘Followership’ goes hand in hand with leadership after all, but what does it mean to be a follower? Do we need leadership and do we need reassurance? We divide the world into leaders and followers, employers and employees, but in reality with our layers of management most staff are both employees and employers at the same time. Theory holds that this position suits most people as we simultaneously like to be controlled and to have control. One area where leaders are perhaps most identifiably differentiated is with sacrifice, and from culture to culture there is an understanding that grave errors, even ones clearly outside the leader’s control, must be answered for with sacrifice from the leader to be resolved satisfactorily. What this does is promote the importance of the follower, of the company, above the leader. As well as this is the idea that the role of the leader is to co-ordinate change, most importantly to ensure the successful continued working of the follower. Different scenarios, different environments therefore call for different qualities in leaders and followers and it is impossible to create a single set of criteria for either.

Figure 2

The attendees from the business community found themselves more than up to the challenge. If a good leader can’t be defined then surely a bad leader can? There are clearly things which are ‘not helpful’ for a leader to engage in? Dr Tom Vine was buoyant. The best project managers have the highest failure rates because they are the ones who tend to get the most difficult projects. This does not mean however they are bad at their jobs. Surely then, came the response, that a good leader addresses the  organisational strategy as they have the widest view of activity? Surely the technology available gives leaders the best array of information to make good decisions in a way not seen before? Aren’t there management teams which enforce checks and balances and ensure good practice at the top?

Dr Tom Vine leads a suite of MBA programmes at Suffolk Business School. He can be contacted at

The next Executive MBA Mini-Masterclass takes place on 20 September, 18:00-19:30, at the University of Suffolk Waterfront Building.

The topic for this session will be Corporate Shared Value and we are delighted to announce that Oliver W. Olson, Director of Global Education Programmes and Senior Lecturer in Marketing and Strategy at the Maastricht School of Management.

This is a free session and part of the University of Suffolk’s Maastricht Suffolk Executive MBA Mini Masterclass series. For more information and to book your place please contact Laura Messer on on 01473 338616 or email

Further reading on leadership:

Grint K (ed.) (1997), Leadership: Classical, contemporary and critical approaches, New York: Oxford University Press

Hannan M & Freeman J (1977), ‘The Population Ecology of Organizations’, American Journal of Sociology, 82

Meindi J, Ehrich S, Dukerich J (1985), ‘The Romance of Leadership’, Administrative Science Quarterly 30

Pfeffer J (1978), ‘The Ambiguity of Leadership’, in McCall & Lombardo (eds.), Leadership: Where else can we go?, Durham NC, Duke University Press

Pfeffer J & Salancik G (1978) The External Control of Organizations: A Resource Dependence Perspective, New York: Harper & Row

Stogdill R (1974), Handbook of Leadership, New York: Free Press

The Post-Referendum World: The View From Maastricht, Boston, and Suffolk (Part 1/3)

On Wednesday 6 July, Suffolk Business School and University Campus Suffolk welcomed our partners from Europe and the USA to our Ipswich Campus. Dr Stuart Dixon, Academic Coordinator Global MBA Programs at the Maastricht School of Management, and Mike Barretti, International Marketing at Suffolk University, Boston US, joined our very own Dr Tom Vine, Course Leader EMBA and MBA, to deliver an Executive MBA Mini-Masterclass on:  The Post-Referendum World: The View From Boston, Maastricht and Suffolk.

2016-07-06 15.38.16
From left to right: Mike Barretti (Boston), Dr Stuart Dixon (Maastricht), Dr Tom Vine (Suffolk), and Stuart Bannerman (Director of International, UCS)

In this, the first in a three part blog series, Dr Stuart Dixon explains the reaction of ‘Brexit’ from point of view of Maastricht and the Netherlands:

On the days running up to the Referendum, and every day since, it has been on the news, with predictions and consequences. The people of the Netherlands are both concerned and very interested, with many asking ‘how has this happened?’

One of the major questions has been why a referendum was called on such a complex issue – voting to leave the EU should not be such a black and white decision, and calling a Referendum does not allow you to negotiate. In business, if you are looking to make a deal, you do not go for all or nothing. There is a period of consultation, of give and take.

In the Netherlands, there is a general sense of shock that just 2% of the population have forced a decision for everyone. There is an assumption for such big issues that there should be a two-thirds majority vote before it goes to the House.

The Netherlands is a trading nation, with a large percentage of its GDP tied up in imports and exports, and the Referendum has raised concerns as the UK is a big trading partner. The Dutch, British, and Scandinavians work together a lot, especially within politics. The Dutch, however, are a small entity within the EU, and have not led many conversations, instead supporting the UK. So what happens next for us? How do we start political discussions, and who will we now ally with?

The ‘Brexit’ could be a positive force for the Netherlands – business is conducted in English, and we could be a viable alternative for foreign investment. We have good infrastructure and communication links.

But overall, there is a general feeling of instability in Europe as a whole. More than anything, ‘Brexit’ has demonstrated the difficulties and complexities involved in allowing something as important as the ‘in/out’ debate for the EU go to a Referendum – it’s very dangerous. For now, we need to work towards economic and political stability, not just for the Netherlands of the UK, but for the whole of Europe.

For more information on the Suffolk Business School MBA and Maastricht-Suffolk Executive MBA, email us at

The Executive MBA is a new programme for the University of Suffolk in partnership with the Maastricht School of Management (MSM). This is a part-time flexible, modular course designed for professionals with 8 weeks of teaching across two years shared between Maastricht and Suffolk with an option for one placement in Boston (US). At the end of 24 months graduates receive their EMBA from the prestigious Maastricht School of Management.

The next EMBA Mini Masterclass will be discussing Leadership in an Uncertain World and will be held on 1 August 2016 6pm to 7:30pm at the Waterfront Building Boardroom, University of Suffolk. All are welcome, and to register interest please do not hesitate to email Laura Messer: or call on 01473 338616.