France is a country that has been strongly associated with culinary tourism with both international visitors as well as French citizens traveling to different parts of the country to sample local foods and wine.
Culinary tourism or food tourism is the exploration of food as the purpose of tourism. It is now considered a vital component of the tourism experience. Dining out is common among tourists and "food is believed to rank alongside climate, accommodation, and scenery" in importance to tourists.
Culinary or food tourism is the pursuit of unique and memorable eating and drinking experiences, both near and far. Culinary tourism differs from agritourism in that culinary tourism is considered a subset of cultural tourism (cuisine is a manifestation of culture) whereas agritourism is considered a subset of rural tourism, but culinary tourism and agritourism are inextricably linked, as the seeds of cuisine can be found in agriculture. Culinary/food tourism is not limited to gourmet food.
While many cities, regions or countries are known for the their food, culinary tourism is not limited by food culture. Every tourists eats at least three times a day, making food one of the fundamental economic drivers of tourism. Countries like Ireland, The Philippines, and Canada are making significant investment in culinary tourism development and are seeing results with visitor spending and over night stays rising as a result of food tourism promotion and product development.