Strategic planning has been promoted by teams usually coordinated by one expert in the field, by a firm or by an University Most of them generally are embedded in the idea that it is not worthy the work they have done. This sensation is most of the time due to incomplete divulgation or to some impossibility to measure the intangible outcomes. In this paper we intend to overcome some of these bad interpretations, reflecting on the mostly theoretical questions coming through recent study cases that are supported over the richness is essentially centred upon the processes and methodological issues that only the future will be able to judge. This paper is an academic exercise where we want to share with the rest of the scientific community the experience we had during PETUR (Strategic Plan for Tourism in Serra da Estrela), a working team that the author coordinated and that rose a number of practical questions related to every planning system. The paper is divided in several sections, starting with a brief introduction and the questions related with organizational complexity. In the second section we look at tourism as a complex activity among whole systems complexity; then, in a third section we justify why we think tourism must be seen as a cluster activity; in the fourth section we develop some ideas about the key questions everyone should care about on any planning process. The remaining of the article refers to some main proposals we have done in the specific case for tourism in Serra da Estrela, a internal small region somewhere in between the developed Atlantic coast and the Spanish border. Besides that we finish the paper with the presentation of some political advises for a success strategy in tourism, considering this is not just a private but a private-public issue.
Tourism Economics; Planning Methodology; Organizational Complexity; Cluster Strategy; Portugal