Difference between drivers, guides, and tour escorts; Please find below the essential difference between an English-speaking tour driver, a tourist guide, and a tour escort in order to ensure the selection of the right professional you need for your tour.
An English-Speaking Tour Driver
An English-speaking tour driver is a licensed professional local car driver fluent in English, knows the region very well and can give you specific information about the area.
Drivers cannot provide any historical and artistic explanations nor lead guests to visit tourist attractions and archaeological sites.
Contravening this type of regulation means risking a fine for the driver by the local authorities responsible for this type of check. Very strict controls exist in many destinations.
The service with English-speaking tour driver service is recommended when you just need a skilled professional to lead you around at the destination. In addition, drivers have special access (permission) to reach spots, which may not be open to other drivers including some special areas.
Please note that in many historical centers drivers cannot park the vehicle straightforwardly and be always next to you during your visits. On those occasions, they will provide all the detailed information on what to see in the surroundings and do on your own.
An Official Licensed Tourist Guide
A tourist guide is a licensed professional, who has studied a lot and taken rather complex and difficult exams, to be authorized to do this specific work.
Generally, a tour guide has local skills, awarded with a special badge that identifies the competence by territory, language, and type of authorization.
A tourist guide can accompany tourists everywhere, especially in archaeological sites, museums, churches, monuments, and of course offer all the historical and artistic explanations of interest to customers.
A Tour Escort
A tour escort is another type of licensed local professional, specializes in the following duties: escort clients, performing meet & greet, assisting clients, regulate and manage the timing of a group.
Ensure the presence and involvement of the participants, verify and confirm facilities and services, provide and explain the travel program, make sure that the group works in harmony, provide information on the places you intend to visit, manage any excursions, buy tickets for museums or means of transport.
Manage reservations with restaurants and accommodation facilities, resolve any problems that may arise during the trip.
So a professional tour leader is not an official tourist guide (and cannot, therefore, provide strictly historical explanations in the monuments), but can provide general information of any kind, and give the most complete assistance to customers while staying with them.