Key figure in Hawaii tourism
also had passion for polo

Robert E. MacGregor / 1914-2002


By Russ Lynch

Robert E. MacGregor, a key figure in the growth of Hawaii's tourist industry for more than 50 years, died Tuesday in Honolulu. He was 88.

MacGregor started International Travel Service in Honolulu in 1946 with Leong Hop Loui, and it is now one of Hawaii's biggest retail travel agencies. Later, he formed Trade Wind Tours to sell retail and wholesale tours to Hawaii from the mainland and elsewhere. For a time, that business was the largest U.S. marketer of Hawaii tours.

MacGregor developed other local tourism-related businesses covering a range of activities such as Pearl Harbor tours, bus travel and Polynesian shows. He sold Trade Wind Tours in 1987 but remained involved in other businesses, including International Travel, until his death.

Outside his business activities, MacGregor was known for his passion for polo, which he started playing in 1958 when the local polo grounds were in Kapiolani Park. Polo moved later to Mokuleia, and 16 years ago, MacGregor co-founded a new Honolulu Polo Club at Waimanalo, where the MacGregor Cup is one of the trophies each year.

MacGregor's wife, Emalita, whom he met in the Philippines while working for Pan Am, died in 1992. He is survived by his daughter, Roberta Masson of Tiburon, Calif., and one granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday at Diamond Head Memorial Park Chapel, with viewing at 8:30 a.m. and service at 9:30 a.m. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in MacGregor's memory to the American Cancer Society or Hawaii Public Radio.

E-mail to City Desk


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