Six local and mainland developers submitted bids in a government tender for an estimated HK$2.4 billion hotel site in Tung Chung, the only new plot in the land sales programme this year. The positive bidding response came as InterContinental Hotels Group, the world's largest provider of hotel accommodation, is understood to have put its core hotel asset in Tsim Sha Tsui on the market with an asking price of about US$1 billion. Sino Land, Sun Hung Kai Properties and Regal Hotels International submitted bids yesterday for the Tung Chung site, which is estimated to be able to provide about 1,100 rooms. Shanghai-based Shimao Property Holdings also submitted a bid, as did two smaller players, Dorsett Hospitality International and Tak Cheung. The site, with a gross area of 138,900 sqft, has a plot ratio of 4.4, giving it a maximum gross floor area of 613,500 sqft. It is expected to fetch between HK$1.5 billion and HK$2.4 billion. Vincent Cheung Kiu-cho, national director of Greater China at Cushman & Wakefield's valuation and advisory services division, said the positive response reflected the limited new supply of hotel sites and indicated developers' confidence in the sector. Tung Chung had the potential as a regional shopping and tourism node that attracted not only mainlanders, but also residents of Macau and nearby countries, he said. Cheung said investors were also keen on hotels in prime districts such as Tsim Sha Tsui. Sources said InterContinental Hotels had appointed an international property consultant to put the 503-room InterContinental Hong Kong in Tsim Sha Tsui up for sale. Kenneth Macpherson, the group's chief executive for Greater China, declined to comment on the sale yesterday. "In May, [the group] announced a review of opportunities for further asset sales," he said. "This is in line with our successful and long-standing asset-light strategy. We continue to make good progress with this review."