I have written about this before, but the incorrect preposition keeps cropping up. An honorary consul somewhere in the United States is not a representative to a foreign nation, but of or for.
When Mr. Cornelissen became Belgium’s new honorary consul in the Boston area, several references were made to him as the consul to Belgium. This would imply that he’s a U.S. native appointed honorary consul to the whole country of Belgium.
Wrong on at least one account: the United States does not use honorary consuls. Moreover, although I don’t know off the top of my head in what Belgian cities our country has a (career) consulate, chances are that our consuls posted to some place in that country have areas of jurisdiction that are smaller than the whole country; hence, it would be incorrect to speak of someone being “the U.S. consul to Belgium” as if there’s only one in that country. The second point is made clearer vis-a-vis larger nations, such as Australia or India.
Ambassadors are another thing. They are the personal representatives of a president or king to another nation. Therefore, it would be correct to say Mr. Cornelissen (if we use him as an example) was appointed Belgium’s Ambassador to the United States. Then he would no longer be a hotel executive in the Boston area, but be attached to the Belgian Embassy in ….. Washington, D.C.
It’s another story that all consuls are also goodwill ambassadors for their countries, but so is any foreign national who works and lives in the United States.