I am a single mother travelling to Turkey in June with my 3 children ages 11, 13 and 15.
I have found a tailored tour with Sakura Tours to suit our needs, but my only question is that they ask for no deposit and to pay cash only on arrival. Does this sound suspicious?
Thanks to anybody for any information or ideas.
Yes, that sounds suspicious. It wouldn't have been if it were a small, local one-person initiative from inland Turkey with no bank account (these still exist), but from their presentation on the web, I get another impression.
If I were you, I'd either look for another tour, or e-mail them that you cannot agree with their terms of service, and propose your own.
I think they want to do it "off the record" for not pay taxes and credit card commissions(they make up to %30 more profit), most small companies try to do this because taxes are so high in Turkey.
If you insist to pay with credit card probably they will accept.
That's most likely the case. It's up to you to decide whether you want to help someone evade tax obligations. In any case, I'd not pay in advance.
I live in Turkey, and never faced such a case like yours. I would find another tour. I recommend ETS or SETUR. they are very well known tours in Turkey, but I think you missed early reservation discounts. This will increase the price.
It's unusual, but not unheard of. In many Eastern European countries (and Italy), it's quite common to book a room, car, apartment, or short break and just give your name and home city.
I have just returned from Sardinia, booked my place through Holiday Rentals and paid the full balance on arrival.
Also, in most Eastern European countries it's possible to just to confirm a rent-a-car and pay on arrival at the airport.
Not practiced too widely, but not a rarity.