"Consul" is the title given to the official representative of one state based within the territory of another state normally employed assisting & protecting the citizens of that consul's own country and to facilitate commerce and friendship between the people of the host country and the country of which he or she is a representative. Consuls are not Ambassadors, as the nature of their work greatly differs from each other. This distinguishes the Consul from the Ambassador who is technically a representative of one head of state to another. While there can be but one Ambassador of a given country in another country there may be several Consuls, one in each of several main cities or in areas of particular trade or tourist interest providing assistance with bureaucratic issues to both the citizens of the consul's own country traveling or living abroad, and to the citizens of the country the Consul resides in who wish to travel to or trade with the consul's own country.
The physical office of a Consul is termed a Consulate, and is usually subordinate to an Embassy (or High Commission, between the Commonwealth countries) in the capital city of the host state.
Activities of a consulate include protecting the interests of their citizens temporarily or permanently resident in the host country, issuing passports; issuing visas to foreigners, and public diplomacy. However, the principal role of a consulate lies traditionally in promoting trade - assisting companies to invest & to import and export goods and services. Although it is never admitted publicly, Consulates, like Embassies, may also gather intelligence information from the assigned country.