More Than a Plane Ticket: Yina Munoz on Travel, Happiness & Following Your Passion

Icon Share


Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


    a beautiful woman in an orange floral dress

    Images courtesy of Yina Munoz and Chablé Yucatán, one of her portfolio hotels

    Some things just click. And since eighth grade, Yina Munoz — founder and owner of ALLabout Travel, one of Fora's favorite boutique representation companies — knew she was destined for hospitality.

    Yina still recalls the day when high school students visited her eighth grade classroom, in the Dominican Republic, to talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up.

    "I'm always going to remember this girl saying that she wanted to be in hospitality, because she wanted to be in the industry that makes people happy. So I was like, that's what I want to do," Yina said, later adding, "In the Dominican Republic, one of the main sources of income on the island is tourism. So for me, that was a no brainer: I'm in."

    Read on to hear Yina's story, how she ultimately decided to start her own business and why she values travel. Then, connect with Fora to plan and book your stay at one of her dreamy hotels today.

    Yina's path to hospitality

    conical structure on a wooden deck

    Images courtesy of Yina Munoz and Chablé Yucatán, one of her portfolio hotels

    Yina's first official foray into the travel world was as a high school intern (love) at an OG, brick-and-mortar travel agency in the DR. Needless to say, the tech was certainly not where it's at today, but it was still a valuable experience for her.

    "It really showed me a little bit of the world, more in the sense of travel, and why people connect with travel," she said.

    Some clients needed to plan travel for a family purpose — whether for a celebration, a death or something else entirely. She saw that travel was radically personal.

    "Travel connects people on so many levels," Yina continued. "It sort of opened up that idea that travel is not just an air ticket. It's more of an occasion in someone's life. For me that was like, huh, this is something even more interesting."

    Yina went on to earn her bachelor's degree in hospitality from Universidad APEC, in Santo Domingo, and subsequently worked with several properties in her home country. But she wanted to zoom out. She wanted to take a look at the bigger picture.

    To do so, she moved to the US, and earned her certificate in Hospitality Marketing and Hospitality Administration/Management from Cornell University. That education equipped her with the tools needed for big-picture thinking: strategy, sales, marketing, brand education — the whole nine yards.

    Yina flexed her skills at several stellar properties, including the DR's Eden Roc Cap Cana and New York City's The Chatwal. Then, the pandemic hit.

    "There were a lot of people in the industry, or even outside our industry, that sort of took a pause and really thought of what our five-year plan was and how we wanted to move forward after this," she said. "And so for me, that was definitely the deciding moment."

    Becoming an entrepreneur, and launching her own business

    sleek pool and white villa with an ocean view

    Images courtesy of Yina Munoz and Mythic Paros, one of her portfolio hotels

    Yina was intrigued by the thought of working with a few different properties, in different locations, rather than just one. She wanted to expand.

    "That for me was very appealing, but also, the fact that I would be making an impact on hotels and properties that are locally owned, and maybe not as well known as big brands out there," she said. "For me, that meant a lot, because I felt I was going to be not only part of representing them and making awareness for them, but that I will ultimately support them and, therefore, all the staff working for that particular property."

    Focusing on smaller, more boutique properties in fantastic locations would allow her to have a more tangible, visceral impact. One thing led to another, and ALLabout Travel was born.

    ALLabout Travel is a boutique representation company, meaning it helps drive bookings for a curated portfolio of properties. Yina's first client, Tortuga Bay Hotel at Puntacana Resort & Club, happened to be a locally owned resort, and one she was already familiar with. (She had worked there in the past. Full-circle moment!) From there, her business evolved, and her selection criteria for which properties she welcomed into her portfolio became clear.

    "I've always been in the sales and marketing field, always specializing in boutique hotels that are sort of unique in that sense, and locally owned," she said. "When I had the opportunity to go on my own, I always carried that sense of boutique, locally owned, sustainable. And to this day, the properties I have currently in my portfolio are definitely a reflection of that."

    We're dying to visit them all. (Yina represents Chablé Hotels, two of our absolute favorite hotels in Mexico. Read more about what makes them so special.)

    "My goal is to remain as boutique as I can," Yina said. "I don't want to become the new big representation company. That is not for now. I'm really happy with the clients and partners I have. And I'm very meticulous when I add a new one."

    Trust, community & doing what you love

    a woman in a blue dress sits on a white balcony overlooking the sea

    Images courtesy of Yina Munoz and Colima 71, one of her portfolio hotels

    Yina is also meticulous about how she runs her business. When working with her properties, she emphasizes honesty and trust.

    "I really want to be honest with each of my partners and say, 'Sales is a process, not a destination,'" she said. "Sales is creating awareness...and of course, it's going to come, but it just takes time and education."

    And trust us when we tell you that when you work with Yina, or stay at one of her gorgeous properties, you are in the best hands. Indeed, collaborating with her is such a gift, made even more so by her positive, calming energy and undeniable passion for what she does.

    "That's one thing about this industry: it's so supportive. When you find your group, oh my gosh, they support you. And when they believe in you, and believe in your job and in what you do — and when you work hard — things happen," she said. "I'm so grateful for the community we have in travel."

    That sense of community and those special, personal experiences travel enables are what set Yina's properties apart. (Another rec: Colima 71, one of the best boutique hotels in Mexico.) When you visit her hotels, you'll feel as though you're coming home, and when our advisors send her glowing emails about how their clients adored their travel experience, or when she gets tagged in an Instagram post, her heart is supremely happy.

    "That, to me, is like a vitamin to continue going," she said.

    Yina loves what she does, and she's excited to keep nurturing the business she's worked so hard to create — and to see how it continues to unfold.

    "Things evolve, things change. I know what I like. But that doesn't mean it will happen, or it will happen the way I want to," she said. "Everything sort of evolves and changes. At the end of the day, you're going to land with where your passion is. So just follow that."

    Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to plan and book your stay at one of ALLabout Travel's dreamy hotels today.

    Book with Fora

    Tell us more about yourself to get matched with a Fora Advisor and start planning your dream trip today.

    Furnished room behind open barn style doors