A row has erupted after a senior clergyman sharply criticised the pace of tourist development in the heart of Belfast.
About 28,000 visitors are expected at St Anne's Cathedral
The Dean of Belfast, Houston McKelvey, accused the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure of not doing enough to promote the Cathedral Quarter.
He made the comments during a Thought for the Day slot on BBC Radio Ulster on Friday.
Dr McKelvey, who is the head of St Anne's Cathedral, said the cathedral welcomed 28,000 visitors every year and deserved more support from local government.
"From my daily experience over the past two years, it's no wonder to me that the judges did not accept Belfast as their City of Culture," he said.
"Some day the city council might actually mark in a definitive way the limits of the so-called Cathedral Quarter.
"The locals, never mind the tourists, do not know whether they are in or out of it and I daresay not even God knows when the Department of Culture and Arts will actually get round to erecting the proposed arts centre, which is the key major new development for the Cathedral Quarter's future."
He later hit out at the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.
"We've never received any assistance
whatsoever in terms of advice from
the tourist board," he said.
Dean of Belfast Houston McKelvey is critical of the pace of development
considering we submitted a very
extensive professionally prepared
proposal about the development of
our tourist interpretive facilities.
"I'm not objecting to the fact that
by them exercising certain criteria
that we don't receive money, but I
certainly expect an agency like
that to have an awareness about
"If we're not very careful, all
we'll have here is a Cathedral
Quarter in name only."
The Tourist Board's Jim Perry expressed disappointment at the dean's remarks.
"This morning we did make
contact with the dean's office," he said.
"We've offered to set up a meeting
to talk, not just about the
specific application they referred
to, but also to look
at other ways in which we
could support the efforts that are
being made to improve St Anne's
He said the cathedral was a significant and
important tourist attraction, "not
just for Belfast, but for the whole
of Northern Ireland".
The dean's call for signs showing directions to the cathedral quarter has been backed by Michael McGimpsey, the former minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure.