This article reflects on the origins and development of social tourism in Brazil, with particular reference to the socio-economic conditions in the country. It discusses the theoretical conceptualisation of social tourism and its implementations in the non-European context. The case study presented here is based on a secondary bibliographical research of existing definitions and an in-depth analysis of the political conditions that have framed its development. More particularly, this article will discuss public initiatives since the Labour Party gained power in Brazil in 2003. Apart from public sector involvement in social tourism, this article also examines the role of the third sector in provision. The example of Social Service of Commerce will be presented. This article will conclude by evaluating the phenomenon of social tourism in Brazil, highlighting where progress has been made and which are the key challenges that need to be overcome.