A Cook’s Tour is a guided but cursory tour of the major features of a place or an area.
Broadly, a Cook’s tour is a rapid but extensive glance or survey of a subject matter.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the phrase has its origin in Thomas Cook & Son, the prominent British travel agency, and precursor to the present-day global travel company Thomas Cook Group plc. The first known use of the phrase Cook’s Tour was around circa 1909. Thomas Cook & Son was started in 1872 as a partnership by Thomas Cook and his son, John A Mason Cook.
Recommended Reading: Thomas Cook: 150 Years of Popular Tourism by Piers Brendon.