TOPAS (Tourism Office Public Auto Service) is a bus presented by CaetanoBus, a Salvador Caetano Group Company, and by the Regional Entity Turismo Porto e Norte, at a ceremony that took place at the Salvador Caetano Group head office, where the Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, José Luís Carneiro, the Chairman of the Regional Coordinating and Development Commission for the North, Emídio Gomes, the Mayor of the Municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, and José Ramos, Chairman of Salvador Caetano Indústria, were present.
CaetanoBus, a Salvador Caetano Group Company, developed an Interactive Mobile Tourist Shop for Turismo Porto e Norte de Portugal, an innovative project that led to the adaptation of a COBUS 2500 airport bus. The TOPAS was presented yesterday at the facilities of the Salvador Caetano Group, in Vila Nova de Gaia, and was attended by various Public and Private Entities, not only the Portuguese Government but also Municipalities and entities from the transport and tourist sectors.
The main challenge in the transformation of a vehicle into an interactive mobile tourist shop was the application of technology and multimedia systems currently used in the shops of Turismo Porto e Norte in a bus, allowing the creation of a mobile shop. The final solution allowed the implementation of a continuous LED panel on the side and rear of the bus, giving a dynamic view of images on a panoramic screen. The fact that the Cobus has a modular aluminium construction facilitated the transformation of this vehicle. According to the Chairman of Salvador Caetano Indústria, José Ramos, “this project is proof of the technical capacity of CaetanoBus in developing unique mobility and engineering solutions which are customer oriented. In fact, this is a characteristic which comes from the very beginning of the Salvador Caetano Group.”
The TOPAS was born from a cooperation protocol signed in 2013 between CaetanoBus and Turismo Porto e Norte de Portugal, which have, since then, worked and explored synergies in the energising and promotion of products and activities from two sectors of activity with great importance to the Portuguese Economy, industry and tourism.
Since its development in 2012, this bus has already transported passengers on an urban and airport circuit, and was adapted for the exclusive transport of people with disabilities (at the service of the English National Team in the Paralympics). Now it has been turned into an interactive tourist shop that moves around Europe, taking with it the best of the North of Portugal.