I definitely don’t know how many factors changed this, but at least a couple come to my mind: the increased integration with Europe since '94 that opened lots of commercial doors/businesses/travels, and the recent appearance in various “trendy” films like the ones I posted the pictures above. Probably followed by some particular Youtube channel, and ethnic music group, or similar things.
Many things contributed. The financial collapse in 2008 made it cheap to travel to Iceland all of a sudden for a time. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 made Iceland well known to a lot of people. Movie studios catching on to how great the landscapes are and all these films and shows being filmed here played a part. The marketing of northern lights tours meant we have tourism all year round now, where it was mostly a summer season thing in the past.
I actually remember a scene in an Icelandic TV production (I think it was in ‘Trapped/Ófærð’) when some characters were complaining that they had to speak English in the shops of their own country!
“I actually remember a scene in an Icelandic TV production (I think it was in ‘Trapped/Ófærð’) when some characters were complaining that they had to speak English in the shops of their own country!” - this happens quite a lot in real life, especially with older people, who are less likely to speak good English. Obviously, I can just speak English to them, but it bothers me when they speak no Icelandic and their English is also very bad and I have to plan some things with them that have to do with organizing something for my work as a tour guide. It really makes me question whoever hired them.