This is a question we often get asked and thus want to clarify. According to Wikipedia, a tour guide
“…provides assistance, information and cultural, historical and contemporary heritage interpretation to people on organized tours, individual clients, educational establishments, at religious and historical sites, museums, and at venues of other significant interest.”
A greeter is more like a friend or acquaintance, who welcomes a guest in a foreign city instead of guiding him. He does not provide in-depth knowledge of geography, history etc.
Let me give you an example: In the big supermarkets in the USA, so-called greeters welcome the customer at the entrance, answer simple questions and advertise special offers. The real experts (comparable to the tour guides in our case) help with their detailed knowledge for example at the meat and cold cuts counter.
This example illustrates the difference quite well: We Greeters welcome visitors, tell them about everyday matters and try to answer their questions regarding the public transport, where to shop or where to find a professional guide. The personal conversation (a dialogue, not a monologue) is the core element of the “greet”.
Therefore, we do not guide large groups, we do not ride a bike and we avoid “tourist highlights”. Each greet is different and cannot be completely planned in advance as it depends a lot on the personal relationship between greeter and guest. Of course, the greeter will do his very best to address the needs of the visitor.
We are always looking for new greeters in our group. You are welcome to participate, if you are open-minded and like to interact with people.