The beleaguered pound may be driving up inflation in the UK but it's proving a boon for the British tourist industry.

Foreign holidaymakers made 910,000 visits to the UK in January -- 19 per cent more than in the same month last year, official figures showed Friday.

The number of British vacationers going abroad, by contrast, rose just 7 per cent.

Foreign tourism helped keep retail sales growing strongly in months after the June Brexit vote as visitors took advantage of the depreciating pound to snap up jewelry, clothing and other goods.

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A US dollar now buys 80 British pence compared with 67 pence before the June 23 referendum, a gain of 19 per cent. The euro has strengthened by 13 per cent to 86 pence from 76 pence.