New road signs have been installed pointing people to Whakatane's Whakaari (White Island) experience.

Whakatane District Council staff have installed the first in a series of New Zealand Transport Agency co-funded destination signs highlighting Whakatane as the 'Gateway to White Island'.

The council's business services manager Roslyn Barlow said the uniqueness of the Whakaari experience was a point-of-difference that no other region in New Zealand had.

"White Island/Whakaari is a world-class tourism destination and by leveraging Whakatane as the gateway to White Island, we can look to draw more international and domestic travellers to the area."


Barlow said the council had worked closely with Tourism Bay of Plenty, Tourism New Zealand, and Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

"The consistent message we're getting from industry experts is that Whakaari is the jewel in our crown," Barlow said.

"If we focus on the opportunities available to us through this regional treasure, we have the potential to see a significant lift in the tourism economy for Whakatane and the wider eastern Bay of Plenty."

The council's manager transportation Martin Taylor said the signs were the first in a series of destination signs, co-funded by the NZ Transport Agency and the council.

"The signs are highly visible, both day and night, and will be installed in key locations from Matata, through Whakatane and Ohope and out along Wainui Road."